Women's Bill of Rights Signed into Law

Jun 03, 2024
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Legislation codifying the Women's Bill of Rights, which preserves biological sex as a distinct legal category, has been signed into law.

Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin, authored House Bill 1449, which defines "sex" as a person's biological sex at birth and clarifies how people of both biological sexes are treated under state law.

"The persistent encroachment of men into women-only spaces, whether that's in locker rooms or entrepreneurship programs, threatens the health, careers and lives of women across the world," Hasenbeck said. "The signing of the Women's Bill of Rights makes permanent the responsibility we all have to ensure women and girls are safe in their protected spaces. I'm grateful to have worked on this meaningful legislation with Senator Garvin the last two years and glad the governor signed it quickly."

The Women's Bill of Rights states that "equal" in reference to sex will not be construed to mean identical and that differentiating between the sexes will not necessarily be construed as unequal treatment. The measure also forbids unfair sex discrimination while allowing for recognition of the differences between sexes on issues related to biology, privacy, safety or fairness.

HB1449 was authored in the Senate by Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan. 

"Women worked for years to achieve many of the same rights and protections afforded to men, and I am certain that those women who fought for equality never dreamed we would be back here, over one hundred years later, fighting for the rights of women all over again," Garvin said. "The Women’s Bill of Rights preserves that progress by prioritizing the safety and security of Oklahoma women. I am thankful that Governor Stitt has been a champion for women in his tenure and appreciate his commitment to preserve our rights."

HB1449 takes effect Nov. 1.

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal