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Oklahoma

Indigenous Trans woman missing three years- family believes hate crime

It has been nearly three years since she has last been seen, yet there are still no substantial leads in the search for Dameron

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Aubrey Dameron (Photo via Facebook)

GROVE, Ok. — An Indigenous trans woman went missing from a small Oklahoma town in 2019 — her family believes her disappearance resulted from a hate crime. 

News Nation Now reports that Aubrey Dameron, 25, was last seen leaving her family’s Grove, Oklahoma, home at 3:30 a.m. to meet an unnamed person in March of 2019. It has been nearly three years since she has last been seen, yet there are still no substantial leads in the search for Dameron.

The family, a part of the Cherokee Nation, believes her gender identity had something to do with her disappearance. According to the news network, the family said her transition was not received kindly in the small town.

“My immediate thought is that it’s a hate crime. That was my very first thing,” said Christian Fencer, her uncle.

“Being in Grove. It’s not really diverse whatsoever,” Fencer said. “There’s not really a lot of things that go on outside of the ordinary. And once there are, then it’s looked at as abnormal or weird or lacking, for lack of other words.”

Grove, which is approximately 90 miles outside of Tulsa, has a population of about 7,000 people.

According to the network, Fencer and Dameron are only six months apart in age and incredibly close. He said they were both bullied growing up with derogatory slurs and rocks.

Dameron’s aunt and uncle also believe her being trans has led to a slow police investigation into her disappearance. 

“We don’t think she’s a missing person. Uh, because she’s transgender,” her relatives recall being told by law enforcement.

Authorities — from Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to the local sheriff’s office to the FBI — all either declined an interview or did not return phone calls made by News Nation.

For three years, the family has organized their own searches to no avail. 

“I believe that we will eventually get the answers that we received, we deserve,” Fencer said. “I believe that someone’s going to come forward, and the entire thing’s just gonna blow open.”

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma Senate passes anti-Trans bathroom bill sends it to Governor

The law stipulates that all students must use bathrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (Screenshot/YouTube)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Republican-majority state Senate passed SB 615 in a 38-7 vote, a measure that will bar transgender students in pre-K through 12th grade at public and public charter schools in the state from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

The bill now heads to Republican Governor Kevin Stitt and will be effective upon his signature into law.

The law stipulates that all students must use bathrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates. Transgender students who decline to use the restroom required under the measure would have to use “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room” provided by the school.

At the end of April Stitt signed that explicitly prohibits the use of nonbinary gender markers on state birth certificates and in March he signed into law Senate Bill 2, a bill which would restrict transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. 

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmaker introduces ‘Don’t Say Gay’ & prevent gender care bills

“I applaud Florida for enacting this measure, & call on my colleagues to follow their lead & do the right thing to protect our children”

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Oklahoma State Senate Chamber (Photo Credit: State of Oklahoma)

OKLAHOMA CITY – On the heels of Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signing a bill Tuesday that explicitly prohibits the use of nonbinary gender markers on state birth certificates, Republican State Senator Nathan Dahm introduced legislation mirroring Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law as well as a second measure that would prohibit any person under the age of 18 from undergoing gender affirming treatment in the state.

House Bill 1074 is modeled after Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The legislation would prohibit educators or other school personnel from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity for grades kindergarten through fifth. It also requires that any curriculum taught in grades six through 12 must be age and developmentally appropriate for students, KFOR News Channel 4 reported.

“There is absolutely no reason we should be teaching or talking about sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary school,” Dahm said. “Kids need to be learning their ABCs and how to read and write – not that a man can be a woman if [s]he feels like it, or vice versa. I applaud the State of Florida for enacting this measure, and call on my colleagues in Oklahoma to follow their lead and do the right thing to protect our children.”

The second piece of legislation, HB 1076, would prohibit any person under the age of 18 from undergoing gender affirming treatment in the state.

“If we can’t trust those under 18 to purchase or use tobacco and alcohol, they aren’t mature enough to make a long-term decision like changing their gender,” Dahm told KFOR. “As gender reassignment surgery has become more and more common over the years, we are now hearing stories of transgender adults who are reversing these procedures because they realize they made a grave mistake. And unfortunately, their bodies are mutilated because of it. This legislation would protect these vulnerable individuals from making rash decisions without fully thinking them through.”

In the language of the measure the penalty for violating the proposed statue would be that any physician that performs the treatment would be subject to professional discipline by the State Medical Board and could receive a suspended or revoked license.

All major medical associations support best-practice medical care that affirms transgender youth. Affirming health care is proven to save kids’ lives. Care includes a range of approaches, which are thoughtfully considered by youth, guardians, and doctors. The way care is portrayed by the Senator carrying this language is factually incorrect and intentionally inflammatory. Banning best-practice medical care is dangerous government intrusion. This is one of the most extreme political attacks on transgender people in recent memory. To try to sneak this effort into the end of the legislative session is egregious.

To partner it with an effort to further censor classrooms and chill speech in schools is life-threatening for too many LGBTQ+ kids in Oklahoma. Just last month the CDC published new data that in the first half of 2020, 1 in every 4 LGBTQ+ teens acted on suicidality. We’re being literal when we say the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities are at stake.

We’re incensed that LGBTQ+ kids and their families yet again have to face the fear and uncertainty of if and how elected officials will use their platforms to advance what are clearly harmful attacks.  In every state where this language is copied and pasted into efforts, we’ve seen that the impact is harm, potentially irreparable harm, to LGBTQ+ kids and kids of LGBTQ+ parents.”

FREEDOM OKLAHOMA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NICOLE MCAFEE

In reaction to the Governor’s signing of the Gender Marker bill, Oklahoma Republican Representative Sheila Dills, the House sponsor of the bill, said;

“People are free to believe whatever they want about their identity, but science has determined people are either biologically male or female at birth. We want clarity and truth on official state documents. Information should be based on established medical fact and not an ever-changing social dialogue.”

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force, 15 states and the District of Columbia specifically allow a gender marker designation outside of male or female currently however, that number will increase on July 1 when Vermont’s new statute goes into effect.

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor signs anti-Trans youth sports bill

“Legislators have decided that harming Oklahoma’s most vulnerable children and their families is worthwhile if it’s politically helpful”

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Former President Trump & Governor Kevin Stitt, White House conference June 18, 2020 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

OKLAHOMA CITY– Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 2, a bill which would restrict transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. The measure passed the Oklahoma House last year and on 37 to 7 vote passed the state Senate last week.

In addition to S.B. 2, the state legislature is also moving forward two additional bills that target the LGBTQ+ community: S.B. 9, a bill that would expand definition of obscene materials to target the LGBTQ+ community, and S.B. 1100, a bill that would eliminate inclusive gender markers from official documents.

Data shows that 75% of Oklahomans support expanding LGBTQ+ rights including protections from discrimination, contradictory to the Governor’s actions.

“Last year, Oklahoma Senate President Greg Treat rightly called S.B. 2 a solution in search of a problem. Nothing has changed, yet Governor Stitt and Oklahoma legislators have sadly decided that harming Oklahoma’s most vulnerable children and their families is worthwhile if it’s politically helpful with the extreme elements of their base. It’s only March, and 2022 is on track to be the worst year on record for introduction and enactment of anti-transgender legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley.

“Other Republican governors have chosen to follow the facts to their logical conclusion – just last week Republican governors in Indiana and Utah vetoed legislation similar to S.B. 2, citing the wellbeing and mental health of transgender kids, the lack of any problem with transgender youth participation in sports, and potential litigation. Instead, Governor Stitt has chosen discrimination over the well-being of everyday Oklahomans. The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns his actions,” Oakley added.

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