Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt is calling on lawmakers in the Sooner State to deliver a bill to his desk that “bans all gender transition surgeries” for minors.
The request from Stitt, who’s currently serving in his second term as governor, came during his 2023 State of the State address in Oklahoma City.
“We must protect our most vulnerable – our children,” Stitt said, explaining that “minors can’t vote, can’t purchase alcohol, can’t purchase cigarettes…We shouldn’t allow a minor to get a permanent gender altering surgery in Oklahoma,” he continued, receiving a standing ovation. “That’s why I am calling on the legislature to send me a bill that bans all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors in the state.”
As governor, Stitt vowed to “never shy away from calling out right from wrong” and insisted that he “will not be intimidated by partisan interest groups or make decisions based on groupthink.”
Stitt’s comments align with a pledge he made last fall to prevent Oklahoma minors from undergoing “life-changing” gender surgeries in his state.
“We have a duty to protect minors from a lot of things: we don’t let them drink, we don’t let them get tattoos,” Stitt told news outlets last October. “Their brains aren’t fully developed…This is not something we’re going to allow to be done to minors and use taxpayer dollars,” he added at the time.
First elected governor in 2018, Stitt said Monday as he addressed state lawmakers that he “will continue my responsibility to lead, not follow.”
Last April, Stitt made headlines after he signed a measure to ban non-binary gender markers on birth certificates.
In addition, Stitt, a month prior in 2022, signed a bill prohibiting transgender girls from playing on female sports teams, one of many such bans being signed into law across the country.
Other conservative states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas, have passed laws prohibiting gender-confirming treatments for minors.