When it was discovered that the Oklahoma University Children's Hospital was doing hormone treatment and transgender mutilation surgeries on minors, Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat (R) crafted a bill to at least stop the facility from using tax dollars to fund those practices.
"It passed with a provision in it that stated that the University of Oklahoma, as one of the recipients, could no longer participate in gender reassignment procedures, be they surgical or hormonal," Treat tells AFN.
The language restricting the hospital from performing chemical castrations on children was added this week after the public pressured legislators. Treat, however, reportedly admitted during the debate on Thursday that nothing in his measure stops the hospital from using tax money to fund elective and controversial gender surgeries on adults.
Because of that, a small handful of Republicans wanted to stop the bill entirely until they could get a statewide ban in place on all medicalized gender experimentation on children.
Senator Nathan Dahm (R), who has repeatedly introduced legislation that would do just that, explains that Treat's proposal "does not stop minors from getting sex change surgeries in Oklahoma. It only stops it from happening at OU. It does not stop them from getting puberty blockers. It only stops it at OU."
Regardless, the majority of Oklahoma Senate Republicans approved the legislation with an emergency clause, meaning it will immediately go into effect with Governor Kevin Stitt's (R) signature and at least $46 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will go directly to OU Children's Hospital.
Meanwhile, Sen. Treat maintains that hormones and surgery are not appropriate treatments for children who are confused about their gender.
"Over the course of this bill last year, in investments we put $120 million into children's behavioral health to be able to get that addressed directly … in a proper fashion," Treat relays.
He points out that most children who feel like they were born the wrong gender outgrow that by the time they reach their upper teens. Professional counseling, he says, has been shown to work for the vast majority of those suffering gender dysphoria.