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In a clear pushback against harmful and destructive gender ideology, Oklahoma and Louisiana officials recently codified biology-based definitions into state law, including “man,” “woman,” and “sex,” to uphold the “biological distinctions” between the two genders and protect the “safety and privacy” of females in the public arena.

Last week, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law Oklahoma’s “Women’s Bill of Rights,” while earlier this week Governor Jeff Landry signed Louisiana’s “Women’s Safety and Protection Act.” Both laws establish legal definitions for man, woman, male, female, boy, girl, mother, and father by recognizing the natural differences of the sexes “at birth.” The laws acknowledge simple biological reality to dispel any ambiguity so the two states can intentionally differentiate between the sexes to protect women’s spaces and competitions from the intrusion of gender-confused males.

Oklahoma’s “Women’s Bill of Rights” (HB 1449) overwhelmingly passed the state’s Senate and House 35-7 and 79-17, respectively. The law states its “purpose” is to provide “clarity, certainty, and uniformity” as to how “both biological sexes” are treated in the state.

“Any policy, program, or statute that prohibits sex discrimination shall be construed to forbid unfair treatment of females or males in relation to similarly situated members of the opposite sex,” the law reads. “The state or its political subdivisions shall not be prohibited from establishing distinctions between sexes when such distinctions are substantially related to an important government objective, including, but not limited to, biology, privacy, safety, or fairness.”

In other words, the law requires state authorities to respect the differences between males and females as traditionally applied in public keeping sex-designated public spaces, education, and sports reserved for those specific biological genders.

The law also clarifies that the word “equal” in the context of the sexes doesn’t mean “same or identical,” and that “to differentiate between the sexes” also doesn’t mean to treat them “unequally.” Rather, the language indicates the biology of the sexes should be recognized separately when appropriate.

Oklahoma’s “Women’s Bill of Rights” solidifies a nearly identical executive order Gov. Stitt signed in 2023 to defend what he called “out of control gender ideology” that is eroding society. The law will take effect November 1, 2024.

Louisiana’s “Women’s Safety and Protection Act” (HB 608) comfortably cleared the state Senate 29-10 and the House 80-17. The law explicitly defines “sex” as “either male or female, as observed or clinically verified at birth,” and then stipulates that “gender identity and other subjective terms” shall not be used as “synonyms or substitutes.” According to the text, the law protects women and girls against “sexual assault, harassment and violence” in places where they have been “traditionally afforded safety and protection.”

The measure, which will become effective August 1, 2024, requires public schools, restrooms, correctional facilities, domestic violence shelters, and juvenile detention centers designate restrooms, sleeping quarters, and changing areas for the “exclusive use” of males and females. The measure also provides a means of legal action to seek judicial relief or damages for violations of the law.

At least 13 states now have laws protecting women and girls in public facilities, while at least six other states also codify into law the definitions of “sex,” “male,” and “female,” such as Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, and Tennessee.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We commend Governors Kevin Stitt and Jeff Landry and state legislators for protecting women and girls against a false and destructive ideology. These laws protect both men and women while maintaining a grip on reality. Biology is fixed at birth and more states need to reject gender ideology and keep women and girls safe.”

For more information about state laws protecting against gender ideology, visit Liberty Counsel’s website here.

Author: Liberty Counsel


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