In Oklahoma, a “state of emergency” generally implies that a tornado came sweeping down the plains, but instead, this state is getting hyperbolic over transgender rights. Then again, Oklahoma’s on a real tear with legislative-related matters this month. First, a judge issued a depressing ruling about alcohol and rape, which was based on some archaic and sloppy statutes about consent. Then on Thursday, the state legislature passed a bill that made performing an abortion a felony offense. Now the Sooner State brings it home by upping the ante on North Carolina and Texas officials’ anti-LGBT stances.
In retrospect, Oklahoma moved pretty fast while reacting to the Obama Administration’s sweeping directive that requires public schools to provide transgender students access to the bathroom of their choice. That 8-page letter took many weeks to put together after North Carolina and other states’ bathroom bills began to ooze into schools. Yet rebellious states like Texas did not pause before declaring they wouldn’t obey at the risk of losing federal funding. Now, Oklahoma has joined the party by declaring a state of emergency to block Obama’s directive.
Lawmakers have done so by introducing two pieces of legislation, which will be considered by May 27. First, Senate Bill 1619 would allow students to only use bathrooms based upon their gender at birth. This would render Obama’s directive powerless and also includes the following language: