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Okla. stakes out new battleground on LGBTQ rights: Birth certificates

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill prohibiting nonbinary gender markers on birth certificates for people who don’t identify as male or female. It’s the latest restriction on gender identity in the state, after Stitt in November issued an executive order to prohibit trans residents from changing the gender on their birth certificates. Republican backers describe the new rules as reflecting their religious beliefs, arguing that gender is binary and immutable. Advocacy groups say the new law could result in a new wave of similar bills in the U.S. Nationwide, GOP state lawmakers have filed nearly 200 bills this year seeking to restrict protections for transgender and gay youth or discussion of LGBTQ topics in public schools. Many states and the federal government, meanwhile, have recently made it easier for trans people to secure ID

Polls suggest a deep partisan divide in the U.S. regarding efforts to advance the rights of trans people. About 0.6 percent of adults and 0.7 percent of youth identify as transgender, which includes a nonbinary designation. Study: As many as 476,000 transgender adults do not have a driver’s license or other state ID that matches their gender identity. Oklahoma Republicans argue that the changes reflect their understanding of science. The AMA last year adopted a policy that calls for the removal of gender markers altogether on birth certificates. The American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association have spoken in opposition to recent legislative efforts to restrict LGBTQ rights.