Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on March 30 signed a bill banning transgender girls and women from participating on female sports teams.
Stitt, a Republican, signed the controversial Senate Bill 2 (SB2), also known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” calling it “common sense.”
“When it comes to sports and athletics, girls should compete against girls. Boys should compete against boys. And let’s be very clear: That’s all this bill says,” Stitt said at the bill signing ceremony.
Oklahoma becomes the fourth state this year to enact the ban, following South Dakota, Iowa, and Utah.
At the ceremony, Stitt referenced University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas without mentioning her by name.
Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win a championship at the National Collegiate Athletic Association this month.
“We all saw the imagery with the Penn swimmer and we don’t want that to happen to this young lady right here beside me when she grows up and gets into high school,” Stitt said, gesturing to one of the female athletes surrounding him at the ceremony.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma condemned the signing of the bill.
“Ultimately, SB2 violates the United States Constitution and federal civil rights law, puts Oklahoma at risk of losing federal funding, and harms transgender youth, all to solve a problem that does not exist,” ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director Tamya Cox-Touré said in a statement.
The signing of the bill came a day before International Transgender Day of Visibility.
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