Trans activists gathered in the Oklahoma Capitol Monday to protest legislation that would prohibit the sterilization and mutilation of children. "Trans lives matter," they chanted.
The legislative session began in the state on Monday, and lawmakers are expected to consider the Millstone Act, which would "prohibit Oklahoma doctors from providing gender transition procedures or referral services relating to such procedures to anyone under the age of 26."
"The bill would further authorize the state’s attorney general to enforce the act and those found guilty of violating it would be guilty of a felony and subject to license revocation," says a release from state senator David Bullard, who sponsored the bill.
"Child abuse is a felony in our state and mutilating a young person’s genitalia should be viewed no differently. The Millstone Act will hold those who perform child mutilation accountable by making such activity a felony. Those guilty of such a heinous crime will be both legally and financially liable," Bullard said.
During his State of the State address, Governor Kevin Stitt said, "Send me a bill that bans all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors in the state of Oklahoma." Stitt previously signed bills that ban biological males from competing in women's sports, and require sex-segregated bathrooms in school to remain sex-segregated, regardless of a student's stated gender identity.
Lawmakers proposed seventeen bills targeting hormone therapy for minors with many also preventing gender transition surgery for minors. Legislation preventing ARPA funding to any provider that performs the hormones or surgeries to minors is in effect statewide.
In response to Oklahoma's move to protect children from the medical impact of gender ideology as well as save women's sports and protect women's sex-segregated spaces, a trans activist and lawyer, Brittany Novotny, is forming a new political action committee in the state to try to block the legislation. Called the Securing Liberty PAC, Novotny claims that bills protecting children run contrary to the GOP principle of limited government.
Novotny claims that protecting children from sexualized drag content is simply government interference in private lives.
"We’re not going to beat these bills by rehashing the same far-left rhetoric and playing victim," Novotny said. "We’re going to defeat these bills by finding common ground with Republicans in the Legislature and helping them to see this isn’t necessarily the winning issue they think it is."
House Bills 2736 and 2186 equate drag performances to strip club performances. HB 2186 says, "'Adult cabaret performance' means a performance in a location, other than an adult cabaret, that features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, drag queens or similar entertainers, who provide entertainment that appeals to the prurient interest, regardless of whether or not the performance is for consideration."
HB 2736 states: "'Drag performance' means a performance in which a performer exhibits a gender identity that is different from the gender assigned to the performer at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers and sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment."
The legislation is expected to begin being heard in chambers on Tuesday.