Governor Stitt signs executive order to boldly stand with women
Tuesday, August 01, 2023
Governor Kevin Stitt led the nation as the first governor to issue an executive order to boldly stand with women — defining sex-based words like ‘female,’ ‘woman,’ and ‘mother’ and protecting women-only spaces. Joining the governor in today’s signing ceremony was Independent Women’s Voice, the group that developed the model legislation that inspired the Women’s Bill or Rights Executive Order. Oklahoma is the third state to implement the Women’s Bill of Rights, defining ‘sex’ across state code and law to mean biological sex at birth. Kansas and Tennessee have adopted similar legislation inspired by IWV’s Women’s Bill of Rights.
WBOR model legislation, first announced in March 2022, was drafted by Independent Women’s Voice and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) in collaboration with the left-leaning feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF).
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said, “I am taking decisive executive action to ensure the true definition of the word woman, meaning a biological woman, is what guides the state as we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the safety, dignity, and sanctity of women across Oklahoma. As long as I’m governor, we will continue to protect women and ensure women-only spaces are reserved solely for biological women.”
Somerlyn Cothran, certified Oklahoma woman business owner and senior vice president of investor relations at Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Voice, said, “Today, Governor Stitt is telling my young daughter and the millions of other Oklahoma women and girls that he has their back – that they no longer have to fear for their safety in private female only spaces. In Oklahoma, we protect women. Today, the definition of what a woman is – is solidified for women owned businesses like mine and for women entrepreneurs throughout the state. Without the Governor’s executive order today, that distinction would soon cease to mean anything.”
Riley Gaines, advisor for Independent Women’s Voice and 12x All-American swimmer, attended the signing of Governor Stitt’s executive order, and said, “Biological differences must be respected in the law to ensure female-only spaces have a future. It is sad that such basic truths must be spelled out to ensure equal protection, but I applaud Governor Stitt for taking decisive action today. Establishing common language by way of the Women’s Bill of Rights is a way of saying enough is enough: Oklahoman women deserve equal opportunity, privacy, and safety, and this order will help deliver it.”
A version of the Women’s Bill of Rights has also been introduced at the federal level in a bicameral resolution sponsored by U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ) and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) (H. RES. 115, S. RES 53). Co-sponsors include U.S. Senators Katie Britt (AL), Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), and Marco Rubio (FL) and 26 Representatives including Rep. Kevin Hern (OK), Diana Harshbarger (TN), Mary Miller (IL), Claudia Tenney (NY), Burgess Owens (UT), Jim Banks (IN), and Greg Steube (FL).