Oklahoma SB 2 passed the House and Senate in Oklahoma and now goes to the governor for final approval after the state House passed it yesterday with a vote of 73-19.
State Reps. Chris Sneed, R-Muskogee and Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, voted for the bill. Frix did not vote on the emergency clause of the bill due to prior obligations elsewhere.
The bill, which is listed as an emergency (mandating that it will go into effect as soon as the governor signs it), prohibits biological males from competing in female sports in any school in Oklahoma, from public schools to colleges and universities. Oklahoma is one of several states considering such laws. With no indication as to why it is an emergency, legislators appeared mostly split across party lines on the vote.
The bill could lead to the NCAA pulling some events from Oklahoma.
In a statement last week, the NCAA Board of Governors said it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports” and suggested the possibility of events being moved.
“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected,” the statement said.
Oklahoma’s bill does not provide any mechanisms by which schools would be able to verify a student’s biological gender. Unlike some other states’ bills, Oklahoma’s does not provide for genital inspection of students. The bill also does not address intersex students, who are born with complete sets of both genders’ genitals.
The bill further does not provide penalties for failure to comply.
UPDATE: Frix sent the following statement;
An amendment was added to the bill requiring athletes or their parents to sign an affidavit to be filed with their school stating their biological sex identified on their original birth certificate. If a doctor listed a child as a hermaphrodite on their original birth certificate, that could be presented.
This bill is not about banning transgender athletes from participating in sports. It’s about having biological female athletes in Oklahoma preK-12 schools and colleges and universities participate only against biological females. Science shows that no matter how much testosterone suppression takes place, biological male bones are denser and muscles are larger. Male hearts and lungs are also larger giving biological males an unfair advantage over biological female atheltes.