An Oklahoma state representative this week blasted Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) over comments he made denying the existence of nonbinary people, saying that it is difficult to work with the governor when "you don't see me."
Stitt's comments came after a legal settlement was reached this week ordering the Oklahoma State Department of Health to allow state residents to identify as nonbinary on their birth certificates, a local Fox News station reported.
The governor condemned the settlement, saying that the decision was made without "proper approval or oversight.”
“I believe that people are created by God to be male or female. Period,” Stitt said in a statement, according to a local Fox News station. “There is no such thing as non-binary sex and I wholeheartedly condemn the purported OSDH court settlement that was entered into by rogue activists who acted without receiving proper approval or oversight.”
State Rep. Mauree Turner (D), who identifies as nonbinary, said the move was really important and pushed back on criticism from those who opposed it, the news outlet noted.
"To be able to have that autonomy and have that part, that real intimate part of you really kind of recognized in a big way is really, really important in more ways than one,” Turner reportedly said.
"If you have to work with people who adamantly oppose your existence, right, to the point to where we can't work together, you can't talk to me, you can't talk to me like I'm a human being, you don't see me, that damages anyone’s working relationship,” Turner later added.
Turner expressed concern for the state's youth who may also identify as nonbinary, according to Fox 25.
"If we are continuously saying like, 'You're not real, you have to suppress that part of you,' what is that going to do to our community?” Turner said. “What's that going to do to our kids?”