Before getting into the why of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executives order for OSDH to not issue or amend birth certificates for nonbinary status, you have to look at how it began.
This didn’t stem from a new parent not wishing to choose a gender for a child at birth, but when a person wanted to amend their own birth certificate as an adult.
When they found out about it, Stitt and other Republican lawmakers grabbed tightly onto the lightning rod as if it was the most egregious affront to justice in Oklahoma this year.
They painted it as if the Oklahoma State Department of Health was making some unilateral decision for all Oklahomans.
Not even close. This was a court settlement.
In Stitt’s order, he wrote, “It has come to my attention that the Oklahoma State Department of Health has entered into a settlement agreement which was not reviewed or approved by my Administration.”
We know the governor has far-reaching executive privilege, but we didn’t know each lawsuit against the state had to be run by him.
The other aspect – the “why” – isn’t all that clear either on how it falls under the governor’s purview.
Why would state law be beholden to any individual’s personal belief system?
Also, the governor, nor any of the other lawmakers who are getting involved, seem to have taken into account that there are people in this world born intersex, with genatalia that could be a characteristic of male or female.
Lastly, when Stitt wouldn’t issue a state of emergency during a public health crisis, he said it was about freedom. Does a free society force people who don’t identify as male or female into a box based on the personal or religious beliefs of others?