The House sent a clear message Tuesday it didn't like the idea that people getting sex-change operations could have their birth certificates changed to reflect the new gender.
The House of Representatives rejected House Bill 1397 by a vote of 71-23.
Only a small part of the measure dealt with those who had surgical sex-change operations. The majority of the 62-page bill dealt with allowing the state Health Department or city-county health departments to bill insurance companies for those who received services and have health insurance.
It also would have allowed the agencies to accept credit cards for payments, said the bill's author, Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove.
During questioning on the bill, Cox was asked about a line in the bill that read the Health Department could change the birth certificate when it “received a request to change the gender on a birth record following gender reassignment surgery.”
Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, who was opposed last year by a transgendered candidate, asked if birth certificates would reflect the operation. Cox replied no.
Cox said in an interview that the change would help those who had sex-change operations and must produce a birth certificate to get a driver's license or a passport or in some cases in job interviews.
“It should reflect their present status,” he said.
Cox said he was surprised by the large opposition.
“The main thing the bill did was it enabled the Health Department to bill insurance companies for people that they gave services to that had insurance, so it's an important bill to help stabilize their funding,” he said.
“I'll probably amend the bill and take out that language that some of my colleagues find offensive and make another go at it,” Cox said.