Last week, the 55th Oklahoma state legislature began its second regular session. At this meeting, several bills were introduced, among them two bills that would restrict restroom use to “biological gender”, or sex assigned at birth.
Senate Bill 1014 states that, if enacted, “It shall be unlawful for a person to use a gender-specific restroom when that person’s biological gender is contrary to that of the gender-specific restroom.”
The bill has raised concerns among transgender activists on sites like Advocate, an LGBT+ print and online publication, as well as questions concerning the actual enforcement of this law.
Along with Senate Bill 1014, another proposed piece of legislation titled House Bill 3049 focuses more on public schools, and if passed the ensuing law would “Contain a requirement that in any school facilities or settings where a student may be in a state of undress in the presence of other students…school personnel shall provide separate, private areas designated for use by students based on their biological sex.”
The term “biological sex,” according to Article B of HB-3049, refers to “the biological condition of being male or female as determined at birth based on physical differences or, when necessary, at the chromosomal level.”
These proposed bills present concerns for the LGBT+ community, as the references to “biological sex” appear to specifically target transgender individuals.
HB-3049 includes a requirement that “students that exclusively and consistently assert at school that their gender is different from their biological sex be provided with an available accommodation that meets their need,” however, said accommodation “shall not include access to the school restroom, locker room or shower of the opposite biological sex.”
While this provision within the bill is an attempt to recognize and assist transgender individuals who would otherwise be displaced, it instead singles them out as different, which could induce more stress and anxiety on students who experience gender-related dysmorphia.
Bills like SB-1014 and HB-3049, which target individuals on the basis of their gender, are unconstitutional and unethical.
As one comment on the Oklahoma State Legislature website read, “Is there going to be restroom security guards asking for birth certificates to prove whether the person entering a bathroom is in actuality male or female?”
The government has no place determining which restrooms people can use, especially when the proposed bills would presumably be difficult to enforce.