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Oklahoma ACLU fights back against anti-trans youth bill

The ACLU of Oklahoma is fighting back against Senate Bill 2, the the anti-transgender bill that harms Oklahoma’s children. This hate-filled bill, sponsored by Senator Bergstrom and Representative Hasenback, attacks transgender youth by prohibiting them from playing sports. 

The “Save Women in Sports” bill would not allow anyone born biologically male to participate in girls youth sports, no matter their gender identity. Female-born students who cannot participate in sports due to having a biological male on the team are able to sue the school for violating their rights. 

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin noted the change in language in the bill was filed just before the School Finance Review committee met. Senate Bill 2, “ostracizes children and casts a dark cloud on our state’s reputation nationally.” 

Oklahoma state Rep. Toni Hasenback (Republican) co-sponsored the anti-trans legislation. / Okhouse.gov

Bill targets trans youth

“We know from research that children know their gender identity by age 4. No amount of attempted legislative action can change that,” said Dr. Laura Arrowsmith, a medical doctor and trans health researcher in Tulsa, in an interview with The Black Wall St Times. “This is going to be very damaging to trans kids as far as their sense of self-worth and self-esteem, and I think it will increase risk of depression and possibly suicidality.” 

Allie Shinn is ACLU Freedom Oklahoma executive director and issued the following statement: “Robbing children of opportunities to feel wanted, included, and part of a team is a particular cruelty that only the most extreme Legislators would support. Sports are an important way for children to learn invaluable lessons like leadership, confidence, self-discipline, and teamwork. Taking this opportunity from transgender children will do nothing to protect other children and do so much to harm kids who just want to be treated with fairness and respect.” Shinn urged lawmakers to vote against Senate Bill 2. 

Oklahoma state Senator Michael Bergstrom (Republican) co-sponsored the anti-trans legislation. / Oksenate.gov

Bills seeks to exclude trans youth from equal access to sports

“This fight is not about sports,” echoed Oklahoma ACLU Director of Policy and Advocacy. “It’s about erasing and excluding transgender people from participation in all aspects of public life. If the legislature really wanted to protect fairness in women’s sports, they would tackle the actual threats to women’s sports such as severe underfunding, lack of media coverage, sexist ideologies, and pay equity for coaches. We in no uncertain terms condemn this heinous legislation and urge legislative leadership to end this fear-mongering attack on transgender youth in Oklahoma.”

 

Go to Find My Legislator to contact your Oklahoma state Senator and state Representative to voice your opinion about Senate Bill 2. 

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