has become the first US state to prohibit a nonbinary option on birth
certificates, enacting legislation that supporters claimed would help
ensure “clarity and truth”
on official documents.
Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law on Tuesday, following up on an
executive order that he issued last November prohibiting the Oklahoma
State Health Department (OSDH) from amending gender designations on
birth certificates. The controversy began after the OSDH – unbeknownst to the governor – settled a civil lawsuit by agreeing to allow a nonbinary option.
are free to believe whatever they want about their identity, but
science has determined people are either biologically male or female at
birth,” said Representative Sheila Dills, the Republican lawmaker who sponsored the bill on gender designations. “We
want clarity and truth on official state documents. Information should
be based on established medical fact and not an ever-changing social
More than a dozen US states allow for gender
designations other than male and female on their birth certificates.
Others don’t provide a nonbinary option, but Oklahoma is reported to be
the first to legally prohibit the designation.
President Joe Biden’s administration last month announced that it was making an “X” gender marker available on US passports. The US State Department had previously begun allowing citizens to self-select the gender identity on their documents.
new law relating to birth certificates comes less than one month after
Stitt signed a bill prohibiting biological males from participating in
girls’ sports. More than a dozen Republican-controlled legislatures have
passed such bills since 2020.
Oklahomans elected the nation’s
first openly nonbinary legislator, Mauree Turner, in 2020. The Oklahoma
City Democrat, whose Twitter profile includes “not a woman,” spoke out against the bill on nonbinary gender markers as it was being debated in the House last week. “I
find it very extreme and grotesque use of power in this body to write
this law and try to pass it when literally none of them live like this,” Turner tweeted.