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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’s GOP governor targets trans rights in executive order

“This Executive Order is not about protecting women. It is a thinly veiled attack on codifying discrimination against trans women.”

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Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signs executive order that targets trans women by defining birth genders with sex-based words like ‘female,’ ‘woman,’ and ‘mother’ and protecting women-only spaces. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor/Facebook)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order Tuesday — defining sex-based words like ‘female,’ ‘woman,’ and ‘mother’ and targeting trans females by designating women-only spaces predicated on gender “assigned at birth.”

The governor’s order is directed at state agencies. The state already has restrictive laws enacted that target trans participation in sports, use of public bathrooms and other accommodations, and a bill targeting gender-affirming healthcare.

Stitt in March signed into law Senate Bill 2, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which restricts transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. He also signed the anti-Trans measure Senate Bill 615 into law, which requires all kindergarten through 12th grade students in public and charter schools to use restrooms and changing facilities associated with the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Stitt also signed Senate Bill 613 that will result in criminal penalties for medical professionals providing gender-affirming healthcare for minor patients. The law now makes it a felony for physicians to provide trans youth with treatments that can include puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.

 “I am taking decisive executive action to ensure the true definition of the word woman, meaning a biological woman, is what guides the state as we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the safety, dignity, and sanctity of women across Oklahoma. As long as I’m governor, we will continue to protect women and ensure women-only spaces are reserved solely for biological women,” the governor said as he signed the order.

Joining the governor was Independent Women’s Voice, a right-wing anti-trans extremist group that also included Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer known for criticizing an NCAA decision allowing transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete against her in a women’s championship race.

Riley Gaines told those gathered at the governor’s signing ceremony, “Biological differences must be respected in the law to ensure female-only spaces have a future. It is sad that such basic truths must be spelled out to ensure equal protection, but I applaud Governor Stitt for taking decisive action today. Establishing common language by way of the Women’s Bill of Rights is a way of saying enough is enough: Oklahoman women deserve equal opportunity, privacy, and safety, and this order will help deliver it.”

Riley Gaines (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor/Facebook)

The Associated Press reported:

In addition to requiring state agencies and boards to define the words “female” and “male” to correspond with the person’s sex assigned at birth, the executive order also includes definitions for the words “man,” “boy,” “woman,” “girl,” “father” and “mother.” The order specifically defines a female as a “person whose biological reproductive system is designed to produce ova” and a male as a “person whose biological reproductive system is designed to fertilize the ova of a female.”

It also directs schools and other state agencies to use these definitions when collecting vital statistics and further directs schools to provide dedicated restrooms and locker room facilities for boys and girls, respectively.

“Today Governor Stitt is going to claim he cares about women, while signing policy authored by an organization that has opposed both the Equal Rights Amendment and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“This Executive Order is neither about rights, nor is it about protecting women. It is a thinly veiled attack on codifying discrimination against transgender women. This bill does not protect women, but instead opens the door for further civil rights violations that open all women to being harassed and targeted as they have their femininity assessed and judged by a public who feels increased permission to police gender.

“We know that this Executive Order, like the legislation we saw from this same organization this session, is not rooted in what is best for women or even clarity within the law, rather it is a blatant celebration of transmisogyny from the Governor’s office.” said Nicole McAfee, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma.

“Two Spirit, transgender, and gender nonconforming people have always been in Oklahoma. And we’ll always be here. While we won’t pretend to be surprised that the Governor is engaging in yet another blatant attacks on our community, we will continue to act with urgency towards the future where all 2SLGBTQ+ people have the safety to thrive.”

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor defunds PBS over “LGBTQ” content

Veto overrides require a high approval of at least 2/3rds of both legislative chambers, and it’s unclear whether his veto will be overridden

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'Work It Out Wombats!' (Screenshot/YouTube PBS)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week Oklahoma’s Republican governor vetoed House Bill 2820, which continues funding for Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, which airs PBS Kids’ “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Work It Out Wombats,” “PBS Newshour,” and the Osiyo TV series featuring Cherokee language speakers, national treasures and outstanding citizens. The Cherokee Nation also helps to fund OETA.

Veto overrides require a high approval of at least 2/3rds of both legislative chambers, and it’s unclear whether his veto will be overridden. In addition there is also the impending deadline. as this year’s legislative session is scheduled to end in three weeks.

“I don’t think Oklahomans want to use their tax dollars to indoctrinate kids,” Governor Kevin Stitt told reporters during a press conference on Friday about his decision to veto the bill. “Some of the stuff that they’re showing just overly sexualizes our kids.”

In a statement released to various media outlets in the state, a spokesperson for Stitt’s office said that the OETA had promoted LGBTQ-focused Pride Month programming in recent years. The spokeswoman also took aim at two popular animated children’s cartoons — ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ and ‘Work It Out Wombats!’ — which air nationally on PBS affiliates and OETA have included lesbian characters in some episodes.

The spokeswoman pointed out a ‘PBS Newshour’ segment in which an Indiana couple talked about how gender-affirming care was beneficial for their daughter. The governor told reporters: “Oklahoma taxpayers are going, ‘Hey, hang on, time out for just a second. That’s not my values. I’m just tired of using taxpayer dollars for some person’s agenda. I represent the taxpayers.”

Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt (Screenshot/YouTube)

The governor’s action echoes Oklahoma superintendent of public schools Ryan Walters who has publicly said: “Radical leftists and Biden administration, they would prefer to sexualize our kids.” Walters has also proclaimed that the Christian bible should be used as a history text in the state’s public and private schools.

“Oklahomans, we have a clear choice in front of us. When it comes to our schools, do we want the radical ideology in our classroom that pushes gender theory? That pushes graphic pornography in order to push a social experiment on our kids?

“Or do want the US Constitution? Do we want documents like the Federalist Papers and the bible? So that our kids understand our history and how our government was put together?

“Those core fundamental principles have made us the greatest country in the history of the world. Real Americans know that we’ve got to support our kids by giving them a great understanding of our history,” Walters is quoted as saying.

Vanity Fair pointed out:

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Stitt said, “You know, the big, big question is why are we spending taxpayer dollars to prop up or compete with the private sector and run television stations? And then when you go through all of the programing that’s happening and the indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children, it’s just really problematic, and it doesn’t line up with Oklahoma values.”

Among the content that Stitt apparently finds objectionable is a segment called “Let’s Learn,” which features a children’s book called The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish; a gay character in Work It Out Wombats!; LGBTQ+ characters on Clifford the Big Red Dog; and a same-sex wedding featured on Odd Squad. 

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma becomes 16th state to ban trans youth healthcare

The law now makes it a felony for physicians to provide trans youth with treatments that can include puberty-blocking drugs and hormones

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Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt (Screenshot/YouTube)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 613 Monday that will result in criminal penalties for medical professionals providing gender-affirming healthcare for minor patients. The law now makes it a felony for physicians to provide trans youth with treatments that can include puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.

With Stitt’s signature, Oklahoma now becomes the 16th state to ban trans youth from gender-affirming healthcare: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota and West Virginia.

In Alabama and Arkansas, federal judges have issued injunctions blocking enforcement of those state’s laws. In Missouri on Monday, Attorney General Andrew Bailey is still blocked from enforcing an emergency rule limiting gender-affirming care after a St. Louis County circuit court judge granted a 14-day temporary restraining order.

“Gender-affirming care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, live authentically as themselves, and dream about their futures,” Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the ACLU said in a joint statement after Stitt signed the bill into law. The legal groups also indicated they plan to file a lawsuit.

“Every Oklahoman should have the freedom to access the care they need to survive and thrive,” said Tamya Cox-Touré, Executive Director for the ACLU of Oklahoma. “Our government should not interfere with the care we receive, the curriculum our schools teach, or what information we can safely share with a trusted doctor or teacher. But today, extreme politicians push laws that infringe on our freedoms and our privacy. We all deserve the freedom to control our bodies and seek the healthcare we need. The government has no right to tell someone they cannot seek gender-affirming care, just as they have no right telling someone when or if they can start a family.”

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Oklahoma bill would ban trans adults transition healthcare

Republican State Senator David Bullard’s Senate Bill 129 would to ban all gender reassignment surgeries for people under 26 years old

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Oklahoma State Senator David Bullard (R-Durant) (Photo Credit: Official Oklahoma state senate portrait)

OKLAHOMA CITY – A Republican Oklahoma State Senator has introduced a bill that would ban healthcare and transitions for transgender adults in their late teens into their early 20s.

Republican State Senator David Bullard’s Senate Bill 129 would to ban all gender reassignment surgeries for people under 26 years old. Bullard is telling media outlets most medical intervention for transgender people violates the Physician’s Hippocratic Oath, which requires doctors to do no harm. [It’s] “a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” the senator said.

“We want to make sure that if we’re going to do a procedure like this that is irreversible, then we want to make sure an individual is at their full maturity when it comes to cognitive development,” Bullard said.

The Oklahoman reported Bullards’ Senate Bill 129, makes it illegal for doctors to provide “gender transition procedures” to anyone younger than 26. The bill includes exceptions for individuals with ambiguous biological characteristics, those with abnormal hormone development, people who have been injured by a previous gender transition surgery, or those in imminent danger of death or impairment because of a physical disorder, injury or illness.

The bill also prohibits direct or indirect use of public funds for gender transition procedures.

Oklahomans legally become adults at 18, and the law places few age-based restrictions after this point. So why 26 years old?

“At the age of 18, you can vote but a vote is not a permanent change in your body that cannot be reversed,” Bullard told The Oklahoman. “At the age of 21 you can drink, but at the end of the day if you decide to put the alcohol down, you can put the alcohol down. But with this surgery, there is no going back.”

The American Medical Association has taken a stance on the availability of gender-affirming care for individuals. On the group’s website, the AMA said it “supports everyone’s access to quality evidence-based health care regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”

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Tulsa donut shop firebombed after hosting LGBTQ+ event

The shoppe had recently sponsored an art exhibition The Queens Dirty Dozen; An art installation run by drag queens

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City Glass by J&B replacing smashed front door in arson case (Photo Credit: The Donut Hole Tulsa/Facebook)

TULSA, Ok. – Tulsa Fire Department arson investigators are looking for a person of interest caught on a Ring.com door cam smashing a hole in a glass door and tossing a Molotov cocktail into a donut shop earlier this week.

Screenshot/Youtube News On 6/KOTV

The surveillance video shows a person placing a letter that investigators said contained anti-LGBTQ rhetoric on the door of a neighboring business, then uses a bat to smash through the glass door. The person then lights the arson device and tosses it through the hole. Tulsa Fire officials told local News On 6/KOTV that the damages to ‘The Donut Hole‘ shoppe were fortunately minimal.

The shoppe had recently sponsored an art exhibition The Queens Dirty Dozen; An art installation run by drag queens. This had caused the business to be vandalized in a previous incident according to the shoppe’s Facebook page.

Sarah Swain, the owner had the front door and windows smashed and her register and electronic equipment stolen the first incident. In a Facebook post Swain noted:

“We had the privilege of being able to be a part of the vision of The Queens Dirty Dozen; An art installation donut shop run by drag queens. The event was an enormous success with over 500 guests attending, and an overwhelming reaction of laughing, jokes, fun and good times were had by all.

Unfortunately, there was also a reaction of hate and we were the victim of somebodies malicious acts. But in ones attempt to rain on our parade, the community answered by showing overwhelming support. From the GoFundMe that was started by Queens Dirty Dozen, goals were surpassed in less than one hour.

Repairs will be made and all extra proceeds will be given to the Tulsa Equality Center to help spread acceptance, tolerance and love. These malicious acts have resulted in thousands of dollars going towards the cause this entire event was meant to support. Love wins.”

Sarah Swain, owner The Donut Hole (Photo Credit: GoFundMe campaign)

The GoFundMe campaign was extended to cover the damages from the firebombing/arson attack.

The local business association, Brookside Business Association, reacted in a statement:

“Over the last few weeks, right here in Brookside, we have watched as a destructive anger has played out against one of the businesses in our district.

Overnight, The Donut Hole was vandalized for the second time in just a matter of weeks. This time, instead of just breaking out glass, the perpetrator threw a Molotov cocktail through the broken glass in an attempt to destroy one of our local businesses.

We are heartbroken.

This type of action does not represent who we are as Tulsans. This irresponsible and reprehensible behavior is destructive and only sends a message of divisiveness and hate.

No matter in what ways we may disagree with others, violence will never be the right response. We, as a business association representing Brookside, unconditionally and unequivocally, condemn these destructive actions and behaviors.

As a community made up of mostly family-owned and small businesses, the Brookside Business Association stands against those in our city who wish to do harm or cause fear. We believe that there is no place for violence or hurtful acts based on differences in our personal beliefs at any time, or in any place.

Our Brookside Business Association stands united against violent displays of anger of any kind, especially aimed at business in our community.

Today, we call for unity and peace. We call for a stop to this targeted vandalism and seek to bring understanding and wholeness back to our community.

We believe that our differences make us stronger together than any of us could ever be on our own.

May these differences unite us instead of divide us as we work to create a better, safer tomorrow.”

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Oklahoma

Bill banning funds for “gender transition” at OU Children’s signed

The requirement OU stops providing gender reassignment or affirming care to minors was signed Tuesday by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt

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Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt (Screenshot/YouTube)

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure that provides $39 million in funding for OU Children’s Hospital that stipulates the money appropriated will not be transferred without OU meeting the requirement OU stops providing gender reassignment or affirming care to minors was signed Tuesday by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt.

KOCO ABC 5 reported on Sep 29, 2022, that Senate Bill 3 passed both the House and the Senate. Some Republican lawmakers said the stipulation doesn’t go far enough, saying gender reassignment or affirming care has to be banned statewide first.

Democrats argue the bill will already hurt vulnerable children.

“Oklahomans, and specifically young Oklahomans who are transgender, live among us,” state Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, said. “They deserve respect, dignity and medical care that serves them with best practices.”

Senate Bill 3 allocates more than $39 million to OU Health for a children’s mental health center. That money, according to the bill, comes with the requirement that OU stops providing gender reassignment or affirming care to children – even though the funding was never going to that specific department.

OU Health officials told KOCO 5 in a statement Wednesday that they would stop those services.

Thirty-one Republicans wanted the bill. Leadership said it will stop gender treatments while still ensuring OU Health can provide top-notch mental health care.

“Will make OU, which is already a great hospital, will make them a better hospital to serve the people of Oklahoma,” state Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, said.

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma schools begin requiring ‘biological sex’ affidavits for sports

The “Save Women’s Sports Act,” restricts transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (Screenshot/YouTube)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The state of Oklahoma began enforcement of the law Monday that requires sports teams in the state’s public schools and including colleges or universities be designated solely based on athletes’ “biological sex,” or sex assigned at birth.

Republican Governor Kevin Stitt in March signed into law Senate Bill 2, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which restricts transgender girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity.

In early July, NBC Oklahoma City affiliate KFOR-TV reported that some school districts were beginning to distribute “biological sex affidavits” to student athletes to enforce the law.

An activist tweeted a picture of one school district’s affidavit:

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Oklahoma

Oklahoma City township gay mayor resigns citing homophobic threats

In his letter of resignation, he wrote that some of the alleged harassment stemmed from an incident between himself and Nichols Hills police

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Adam Graham/Twitter

THE VILLAGE, Ok. – The openly Out gay Mayor of this enclave city of 9,564 residents, surrounded by Oklahoma’s capital city, sent a letter to its city manager Monday informing him that the Mayor was stepping down immediately.

According to now former Mayor Adam Graham in a tweet accompanying his letter of resignation, “For almost five years, I’ve proudly served The Village as Councilmember and Mayor. It’s been an honor to serve and it’s been my great privilege to break boundaries. I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity here. It’s with a heavy-heart that I tender my resignation.”

In his letter Graham cited escalating homophobic threats including ones indicating violence, his property vandalized, and his discomfiture with the situation in the community.

The city’s largest daily newspaper, The Oklahoman, reported The Village City Manager Bruce Stone, to whom Graham’s letter was addressed, did not return The Oklahoman’s phone calls, but city officials confirmed via phone Monday that Graham had resigned.

In his letter of resignation, Graham wrote that some of the alleged harassment stemmed from an incident between himself and Nichols Hills police. Graham did not respond to the paper’s request for an interview.

Nichols Hills Police Chief Steven Cox told The Oklahoman he has not heard from Graham regarding the incident, which Cox said happened during a traffic stop initiated within Nichols Hills city limits. The vehicle being pulled over drove a few blocks before stopping in The Village city limits, Cox said.

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Multiple victims in shooting at Tulsa hospital; Gunman ‘Down,’ police say

Police say a man with a rifle entered a local hospital in Tulsa, Okla., and shot multiple people. The shooter is down.

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Screenshot via NBC News

UPDATED from The Associated Press:

A man who blamed his surgeon for ongoing pain after a recent back surgery bought an AR-style rifle hours before opening fire at a Tulsa medical office, killing the surgeon and three other people before fatally shooting himself, police said Thursday.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin says the gunman had recently undergone back surgery and had called a clinic repeatedly complaining of pain. Franklin says the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Preston Phillips, was killed Wednesday, along with another doctor, a receptionist and a patient.

Original Story:

TULSA, Ok. – Four people were killed Wednesday afternoon after a shooting at a doctor’s office in Tulsa. A fifth person believed to be the suspect, died by suicide after a shooting at a medical complex a Tulsa Police Department spokesperson confirmed to multiple media outlets Wednesday evening.

Officers were called to the Natalie Building, located in the area of 61st Street and Yale Avenue, at St. Francis Hospital regarding a man armed with a rifle.

“This turned into an active shooter situation,” a Tulsa police captain said in a released statement.

“Officers are currently going through every room in the building checking for additional threats. We know there are multiple injuries, and potentially multiple casualties,” the spokesperson said.

KOTV-DT News 6 Tulsa reported that a representative from Governor Kevin Stitt’s office says he has talked with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum to express his condolences and offer any state resources that may be needed.

The White House notified reporters that President Biden has been briefed on the shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The White House is closely monitoring the situation and has reached out to state and local officials to offer support.

This is a developing story.

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signs anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bill’ into law

“These violations put Oklahoma at risk of losing millions of dollars & harms trans youth, all to solve a problem that does not exist”

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Screenshot/YouTube

OKLAHOMA CITY – On Wednesday Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed the anti-Trans measure Senate Bill 615 into law. The measure, which took effect immediately, requires all kindergarten through 12th grade students in public and charter schools to use restrooms and changing facilities associated with the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Provisions in the language of the law requires schools to adopt disciplinary procedures to punish students who do not comply and allows parents and guardians to take legal action against any school that does not comply with the new law.

The capital city’s leading paper, The Oklahoman noted that any schools or districts that violate the law would see a 5 percent penalty reduction in state funding. ‘That could subtract thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the school system,” the paper noted.

“Governor Stitt believes girls should use girl restrooms and boys should use boy restrooms,” Stitt’s spokesperson Carly Atchison told media in a statement.

Opponents of the law point out that it is likely a violation of federal civil rights. “By singling out transgender students for discrimination and excluding them from restrooms that match their gender identity, SB 615 discriminates based on transgender status and sex in violation of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act,” Tamya Cox-Touré, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“These violations put Oklahoma at risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding and harms transgender youth, all to solve a problem that plainly does not exist,” Cox-Touré added.

“This law is unconstitutional, a violation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, and more than anything it is unnecessarily cruel for the sake of cruelty,” said Nicole McAfee, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma. “Over the last day we’ve heard people talk about school safety over and over again. But with a flick of his pen, Governor Stitt said that safety doesn’t extend to already vulnerable transgender and Two Spirit young people.”

“What states like Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina have done time after time is find new ways to attack these kids for their political gains among radical voters,” Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campain said in a press release. “Governor Stitt has repeatedly disregarded the real harms these bills will impose on Oklahoma’s youth.”

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