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Gov. Stitt orders Oklahoma to stop issuing updated birth certificates with nonbinary gender 'X' option

Ben Felder
The Frontier

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt officially ordered health officials to drop the nonbinary designation from updated birth certificates.

Late last month, the Oklahoma State Department of Health began allowing people who were born in the state and don’t conform to the gender binary to update their birth certificates.

The new process allowed updated certificates to drop the male or female designation, listing an 'X' instead.

The move came after officials settled a federal lawsuit, in which an Oregon resident born in Oklahoma attempted to change their designation.

Several top Republicans, including Stitt, immediately lambasted the policy change and swore to reverse it.

On Wednesday, Stitt announced an executive order that banned the practice, ordered the department to remove any mention of it from the agency’s website, and ordered the agency to inform the governor’s office of any legal action taken against the agency regarding birth certificates.

The order also encouraged the Legislature to formally codify binary birth certificates come February, when the regular legislative session starts.

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Catherine Sweeney grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University. She has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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