Oklahoma lawmakers on Friday proposed a new bill that would allow students to request their school buildings provide bathrooms, showers and locker rooms based on religious grounds, not just on self-assigned sex -- essentially rooms to disallow transgender people. The same Republican legislators introduced a resolution Thursday to urge the state's congressional delegates to start an impeachment of President Barack Obama over the White House's recent directive to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity.
The Oklahoma bill challenges the Obama administrators, who directed lawmakers that students must be allowed to use facilities they feel match their identity, even if this varies from their "anatomical sex," reports The Inquisitr. The guidance letter sent to school officials indicates attempts to go against the directive may result in legal action against the specific state which does so.
Some legislators voiced they believed the Obama administration overreached the constitution by advising educational facilities to allow transgender people to use bathrooms they believe match their gender.
The New York Times reported the Senate bill introduced in Oklahoma defined "sex" as the "physical condition of being male or female, as identified at birth" by an individual's anatomy.
The new bill states any student can request a "religious accommodation" from a school for restrooms, athletic changing facilities or showers that are exclusively used by people with the anatomical sex at birth that is similar to their own.
The bill also states a student could insist on this based on their own "sincerely held religious beliefs." The proposed legislation states single-occupancy bathrooms and facilities are not accommodations that meet the intentions of the bill.
Authors of the new bill were Senator Brian Bingman and Speaker Jeffrey Hickman, who said they created the bill for what they describe as an "emergency" in a time when lawmakers need to maintain "public peace, health and safety."
Senior legislative counsel with the Human Rights Campaign, Cathryn Oakley, said this directive is the most widespread the administration has instated. "What is particularly notable is that they are adding religion into the mix in a way that it has not been in any other."
Since Friday, lawmakers have been debating how students can have separate but equal bathrooms to segregate them from transgender students.
According to The Oklahoman, a state Senate committee approved a measure to grant religious accommodations for students who object to the transgender bathroom order. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
According to Reuters, advocates for Obama's impeachment said the president has "overstepped his constitutional authority." However, supporters of the transgender bathroom guidelines called the impeachment resolution a promotion of fear mongering, reports Fox News.