Transgender activists occupied the Oklahoma State Capitol during Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s State of the State address Monday, videos from the protests show.
Around 150 people showed up to the capitol building to protest proposed senate bills (SB) that would outlaw certain treatments for minors with gender dysphoria, including genital surgeries and hormone blockers, according to OU Daily.
Activists held blue and pink pro-trans flags and posters while chanting “trans lives matter” and “protect trans kids,” according to videos taken by KFOR reporter Nick Camper.
— Nick Camper (@nickcamper) February 6, 2023
Benjamin Patterson, a biological female who identifies as a trans man, told OU Daily the protesters “aim[ed] to bring community together” to prevent “anti-trans rhetoric,” such as bills that ban irreversible treatments for children with gender dysphoria, like hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
“HRT isn’t the only form of healthcare that’s going to be banned, but it’s the big one that they’re going after,” Patterson told the outlet. “Working to ban HRT and other trans healthcare is active genocide. People will not survive to 26 to get that. For a lot of us, it is one of the only things that can help us feel at home in our body.”
Stitt received a standing ovation from Oklahoma lawmakers after instructing them to send him “a bill that bans all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors in the state.” (RELATED:EXCLUSIVE: Oklahoma Sen. Jessica Garvin Files Women’s Bill Of Rights)
“We must protect our most vulnerable — our children. After all 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. 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,” Stitt said.
“As governor, I will never shy away from calling out right from wrong. I will not be intimidated by partisan interest groups or make decisions based on groupthink,” he added.
Republican Oklahoma Sen. David Bullard introduced OK SB129 in January, which bans physicians from providing or referring transgender treatments for any person under 26. The bill also prevents taxpayer money from being used to fund transgender therapies for anyone under 26.
In a January statement announcing the bill, Bullard said he “could not have imagined that it would be necessary to file a bill to protect children in [Oklahoma] from being legally sexually mutilated” when he joined the Oklahoma State Senate four years prior.
“Surgical and chemical genital mutilation has been occurring in our great state, and it must be stopped,” Bullard said. “We have a sacred duty to protect our children from those who wish to do them harm. Senate Bill 129 is designed to protect our children from those who want to benefit financially at their expense. Child abuse is a felony in our state and mutilating a young person’s genitalia should be viewed no differently. The Millstone Act will hold those who perform child mutilation accountable by making such activity a felony. Those guilty of such a heinous crime will be both legally and financially liable.”
Bullard did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.