The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma Foundation, and Lambda Legal have filed a lawsuit on behalf of three transgender Oklahoma schoolchildren against the State Department of Education and its board members, Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, Attorney General John O'Connor, and three school districts.
The law in question has been referred to by Associated Press and other news outlets as "anti-trans." State Senator David Bullard (R), however, says it is actually pro-privacy.
"What we are doing is making sure that the 99% of the kids in the school that don't identify as something else don't have their privacy rights violated and are protected," he tells AFN. "So it's a complete misnomer, the way that they're putting that."
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, argues that the new law discriminates against transgender students in violation of both the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Title IX civil rights law enacted as part of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Sen. Bullard is not worried.
"I have full confidence in the attorney general of Oklahoma," he states. "He has vowed to go after this and fight this. He was a proponent of SB 615. They'll fight it and fight it the correct way; they'll fight it on a constitutional basis. Actually, they'll fight it on the upholding of Title IX, versus what they're trying to make it be, which is against Title IX. They will fight this as a protection of Title IX and women's rights."
Bullard, who co-authored the bill, adds that lawsuits like this "only drive us to push and do more for our constituents."
"We here in the legislature in Oklahoma are determined now more than ever to make sure that common sense gets protected, and we are going to continue this fight," he assures AFN. "As a matter of fact, we are just getting started on it."