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Oklahoma governor orders halt to non-binary birth certificates
2021-11-11

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has issued an executive order to stop the Oklahoma State Department of Health from issuing non-binary birth certificates, KFOR.com reported.

"Neither this statute nor Oklahoma law otherwise [provides] OSDH or others any legal ability to in any way alter a person's sex or gender on a birth certificate," said Stitt in the order. "Moreover, neither this statute nor OSDH's administrative rules, give the agency authority to enter agreements that circumvent the laws of this state."

The order demands OSDH cease amending birth certificates, remove reference of amending birth certificates from its website, and inform the governor of any pending litigation regarding certificate amendments or other pertinent information.

OSDH started issuing the birth certificates after Kit Vivien Lorelied—who identifies as non-binary and who uses the pronouns they/them/their—filed a lawsuit in August 2020. Their attorneys said that denying the change violated the U.S. Constitution, adding there was no real reason the government should deny such a change.

On Freedom Oklahoma's website, Executive Director Nicole McAfee stated, "Governor Stitt choosing to enshrine in executive disorder the level to which he was unaware of the settlement that resulted in Oklahoma's first X-gender marker amended birth certificate is more of a comment on the dysfunction of the Executive branch than anything else.

"As we have noted previously, the question was not one of if people have the right to have X-gender markers in Oklahoma, but rather about the process of how. Law requires people have government documents for everything from receiving their COVID-19 vaccine to engaging in their right to vote. So long as that is the case, there is a necessity for people to have documents that accurately reflect who they are. And the fact of the matter is and always have been people here who do not fit within the gender binary."


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