Please attribute the following to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director at ACLU of Oklahoma:
Today, on HIV/AIDS awareness day, we have received reports that Legislative Pages are being allowed access to private Capitol restrooms in response to the presence of “cross dressers” in the building. Implying that young women may be unsafe in an environment simply due to the presence of LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS Activists is offensive and incredibly dangerous. Promoting fear and hysteria about some of Oklahoma’s most marginalized communities is exactly the sort of behavior that leads to one of the most anti-LGBTQ environments in the nation. Today’s activism is geared toward creating a healthier and more inclusive Oklahoma. This goal ought to be shared by all Oklahomans, but especially by our elected officials. The continued assault on reason places Oklahomans in real danger for the sake of manufactured political hysteria. We call on the Speaker of the House to immediately right this wrong and to ensure future communications about LGBTQ Oklaomans not further endanger the lives of the trans community.
Please attribute to Troy Stevenson, Executive Director at Freedom Oklahoma:
Choosing to grant this accommodation in a way that attacks the credibility of those who exist outside our flawed concept of a gender binary is concerning at best. Freedom Oklahoma firmly believes that any individual who is uncomfortable using public restrooms should be provided accommodations; however, this language shows bias and bigotry toward one class of individuals. Also, disparaging the trans community as “cross-dressers” perpetuates the stigma and bias that continues to marginalizes the trans community year after year with biased legislation. This is a clear reminder that we must continue to educate Oklahomans on what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ community rather than allowing unfounded fears to dictate offensive policies.