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Originally, Representative Hasenback wrote HB4245 as the Oklahoma Schools Act. However, a committee amended the language to exclude trans women from school sports.
HB4245 now “prohibits male students from playing on athletic teams designated for females.” The bill states “parents and guardians of students who play sports must sign an affidavit prior to the beginning of each school year acknowledging the biological sex of the student.”
The bill’s language reflects last year’s “Save Women in Sports Act,” which sought to restrict trans women from playing school sports. However, that bill, Oklahoma SB 331, did not pass.
HB 4245 does not address students who are intersex. Intersex people make up .05% of live births.
Black trans community faces the brunt of hate
Black trans youth are at particular risk simply because of their gender. According to the Human Rights campaign, 2021 was the most violent year on record for the trans community.
Frequently, violence and even murder of Black trans people goes unreported due to concerns about a lack of interest from law enforcement. In fact, of the 44 murders of trans people in 2021, the majority were Black trans women.
The Oklahoma ACLU addressed HB4245 in a statement. “Excluding trans youth from participation deprives them of opportunities available to their peers and sends the message they are not worthy of a full life.”
“HB 4245 discriminates based on transgender status and sex in violation of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. If the legislature really wants to protect women’s sports, they should start by addressing the real issues such as funding, resources, pay equity, and more.”
Nicole McAfee, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma also provided a statement, saying “HB 4245 is political grandstanding at the expense of the mental health and physical well-being of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. To rob them of that is nothing short of cruel.”
The American Psychological Association fervently supports transgender students’ participation in sports. The APA is the leading professional psychology organization in the United States.
To learn more about HB4245 and other anti-Blackk, anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ bills in Oklahoma, go to freedomoklahoma.org.