Gov. Stitt Responds To Transgender Birth Certificate Ruling

A federal appeals court ruled Oklahoma may have violated the U.S. Constitution in banning transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate. See Gov. Kevin Sitt's response to the ruling.

Wednesday, June 19th 2024, 6:17 pm

By: News 9, Storme Jones


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A federal appeals court ruled Oklahoma may have violated the U.S. Constitution in banning transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate.

A lower court had thrown out the lawsuit, but on Tuesday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with three transgender plaintiffs.

“Today, we’re taking a stand against this out-of-control gender ideology that is eroding the very foundation of our society,” Gov. Kevin Stitt told supporters in a 2023 bill signing of a bill called the “women’s bill of rights.”

In November 2021, Stitt signed an executive order effectively instructing the Oklahoma State Department of Health to stop allowing Oklahomans to change the gender on their birth certificate. He said such allowances were going beyond state law.

“The Governor of Oklahoma made that decision abruptly in 2021, even after a very long history of Oklahoma, allowing these changes just as 47 other states across the country similarly allow,” Lambda Legal group Senior Counsel Peter Renn said.

The New York LGBTQ+ civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of three transgender Oklahomans. In 2023 a federal court in Tulsa threw out the lawsuit. But just this week, the 10th Circuit overturned the lower court’s decision. Justices found there is no rational reason to ban gender changes on the document, other than discrimination against the specific group.

“There is no rational connection here—the Policy is in search of a purpose,” Justices wrote in the opinion.

“Identity documents are an incredibly important tool that all of us need to navigate modern life,” Renn said. “Whether you are enrolling in schools or starting a new job or applying for government programs, denying transgender people that basic tool really causes them quite a bit of harm.”

“I’m always going to protect Oklahoma values and our way of life,” Stitt said in a statement Wednesday. “My executive order from 2021 made it clear that Oklahoma birth certificates will align with science and Oklahoma law, not a social agenda. Oklahoma will continue that fight as it continues to work through the courts.”

Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s office said they are disappointed in the ruling and will be reviewing their potential next steps.

Following the appeals court ruling, the case was sent back to the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa. A trial date has not yet been set.

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