OKLAHOMA CITY — Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Oklahoma are reassuring the transgender youth of Oklahoma that they will take any necessary legal action against a proposed ban on their health care currently being considered by the state.
SB613 would ban the only evidence-based care for gender dysphoria for transgender people under 18. The state legislature has ignored the warnings of transgender youth, their families, and their medical providers about the potential harms of these bills, and similar restrictions in Alabama and Arkansas have been enjoined by federal courts. On Wednesday, a state court in Missouri blocked enforcement of an “emergency rule” restricting medically necessary gender-affirming care that was promulgated by that state’s attorney general.
The legal organizations issued the following joint statement:
“In a perilous game of chicken with their governor, Oklahoma lawmakers pushed through SB613, a dangerous bill that will jeopardize the health and lives of transgender youth, notwithstanding the overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence supporting this care as safe, effective, appropriate and necessary. Transgender youth in Oklahoma deserve the support and care necessary to give them the same chance to thrive as their peers. Gender-affirming care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, live authentically as themselves, and dream about their futures. If this bill is signed into law, we will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fearmongering.”
Bans like SB613 are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, Oklahoma is home to an estimated 2,600 transgender youth between the ages of 13-17, just one percent of Oklahoma’s total population.