Oklahoma Proposes Bathrooms By Religion, Challenges Obama Directives

Jessica Dafoe

Lawmakers of Oklahoma have proposed a new bill that will allow students to make a request based on religion that their schools provide them with a bathroom and other facilities that disallows transgender people.

The particular bill directly challenges the Obama administration after they clearly directed lawmakers and stated that students must be allowed to use the facilities that they feel match their identity, even if this varies from their "anatomical sex."

— The Hill (@thehill) May 19, 2016

"The Senate bill introduced on Thursday in Oklahoma defined "sex" as the "physical condition of being male or female, as identified at birth" by an individual's anatomy. It says any student can request a 'religious accommodation' from a school for restrooms, athletic changing facilities or showers that are exclusively used by people with the anatomical sex at birth that is similar to their own. This means that a male student could request that the school provide facilities only for use by other students who were male when they were born."

Authors of the mentioned bill were Senator Brian Bingman and Speaker Jeffrey Hickman. Both men are republicans and created the bill for what they describe as an "emergency" in a time when lawmakers need to maintain "public peace, health and safety." Obama administrative directives were not specifically mentioned in the bill.

The guidance letter written by the administration clearly indicates that any attempt to go against what has been put in place, may result in legal action against the specific state which does so.

"The guidance letter published last Friday by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education said students must be allowed to use the facilities that match the gender they identify as, even if that is different from with their anatomical sex. For districts that refuse to comply, the directive carries the potential threat of legal action or of the withholding of federal funds."

Oakley speaks on the matter of the opposition to the directive.

"It is the first challenge since last week. What is particularly notable is that they are adding religion into the mix in a way that it has not been in any other."

— citizenbfk (@citizenbfk) May 20, 2016

Republican John Bennett shared about the complaints being received over the directive by Obama.

"Our phones and emails are being flooded by citizens who are enraged by this president's attempt to use our children as pawns in a liberal agenda. This directive is biblically wrong, a violation of our state's sovereignty and it is a serious public safety issue."