After the Oklahoma state health department decided to establish a nonbinary birth certificate option for newborns. Oklahoma GOP Governor Kevin Stitt blasted the decision on Thursday, stating, “I believe that people are created by God to be male or female. Period.”
Stitt added, “There is no such thing as non-binary sex and I wholeheartedly condemn the purported OSDH court settlement that was entered into by rogue activists who acted without receiving proper approval or oversight,” KJRH reported.
Oklahoma GOP State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom had filed a bill on Wednesday that would limit Oklahoma birth certificate gender options to male and female. He asserted that listing anything other than male or female on a birth certificate was “ludicrous,” stating:
I was assured by the State Department of Health a couple months ago that they had no intention of adding another sex option to birth certificates, but they recently approved a non-binary option. We’re at an odd time in history where people are seemingly forgetting science and biology and casting common sense out the window. When babies are born, they are either born male or female based on their chromosomes and genitals. Allowing anything else to be listed on a birth certificate is ludicrous, and it’s time we clarify this in our statutes.
On Thursday afternoon, Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye issued a statement saying:
A legal settlement regarding birth certificate designations was reached in May by the prior attorney general’s office. The Oklahoma State Department of Health will work with the Governor and Attorney General’s office for input and counsel on next steps. Our responsibility is to maintain vital statistics, and we will continue to do so in accordance with the laws of Oklahoma. Should a challenge to the previous agreement be made, we will proceed accordingly.
The issue was raised after Oregon resident Kit Lorelied, who was born and raised in Oklahoma and now identifies as nonbinary, sued the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Jackie Shawnee, chief of staff for Frye, stated, “Requirements for legally changing the sex designation on an Oklahoma birth certificate have changed. In order to legally change the sex designation on an original Oklahoma birth certificate, you must obtain a court order from an Oklahoma court. A certified copy of this court order must be presented to (the) Oklahoma (Office of) Vital Records before an amended birth certificate can be issued,” as nondoc.com reported.
Frye resigned from his position as Oklahoma’s Commissioner of Health, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, on Friday. Rachel Klein, Director of Communications for OSDH, told KFOR that Frye had not resigned over birth certificate gender option issue. She said, “His decision did not have anything to do with that. He was not influenced by that decision. … He decided to leave because he felt it was time to move on.”