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Federal lawsuit challenges Oklahoma anti-transgender bathroom law

OKLAHOMA CITY Civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit with respect to three transgender Oklahoma schoolchildren, arguingthe states new lawrequiring students only use the toilet of the sex listed on the birth certificate is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City lists hawaii Department of Education and its own board members, Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, Attorney General John OConnor and three school districts as defendants.

Plaintiffs along with other youth that are transgender in Oklahoma schools now face mandated discipline, potentially suspension, exclusively for utilizing the restroom along with other facilities at school corresponding with who they’re, the lawsuit states.

Oklahoma is among abouttwelve conservative stateswhich have passed laws this season targeting the transgender population over bathroom use, participation in school sports, and gender-affirming treatments or surgery for teenagers.

Oklahomasnew law, which passed quickly through the GOP-controlled Legislature and was signed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, was proposed after Stillwater Public Schools declined to improve an insurance plan allowing students to utilize the toilet that will abide by their gender identity unless forced for legal reasons to accomplish otherwise.

The bill also requires hawaii Department of Education to penalize schools that not adhere to the brand new law with a 5% decrease in state funding.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma Foundation and Lambda Legal, a civil rights group centered on protecting the rights of LGBTQ people, argues the brand new law discriminates against transgender students in violation of both Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Title IX civil rights law enacted within the Education Amendments of 1972.

OConnor, Oklahomas attorney general, declined to comment, citing the pending litigation, and a note left Wednesday with the bills author, Republican Sen. David Bullard, wasnt immediately returned.

THE HOME writer of the bill, Republican Rep. Danny Williams, said once the bill was signed that its goal was to safeguard our kids.

Its about safety, its about protection, its about good sense, Williams said.

Among the plaintiff students, 16-year-old Noble SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL senior Andy Bridge, said that while he could utilize the boys bathroom without incident this past year, the brand new law makes him feel designated and excluded from the others of his classmates.

I’m a boy, even though living authentically hasnt been easy, its given me a feeling of relief and happiness, he said in a statement. Having the ability to utilize the boys restroom may seem such as a small thing to others, nonetheless it is really a vital part of my transition.

Both other plaintiff students, who used pseudonyms in the lawsuit, attend Moore Public Schools and a public charter school operated by Harding Independent School District.

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