Sunday, May 1, 2022


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Last week, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed SB#1100, authored by Senator Michael Bergstrom, (R-Adair), and Representative Shelia Dills, (R-Tulsa).  SB#1000 requires the biological sex designation on a birth certificate be either male or female and prohibits a nonbinary or any symbol representing a nonbinary designation, including the letter “X.”   The bill passed the House by a vote of 75-16 and the Senate by a vote of 38-7.  Oklahoma is the first state to pass legislation dealing with birth certificate gender designation.    

     ″We want clarity and truth on official state documents.  Information should be based on established medical fact and not an ever-changing social dialogue,” Dills said.   Bergstrom added: “We must stand up and put a stop to this nonsense regarding biological sex. It’s not a complicated issue — biologically, you’re either a male or female. There should be no other option to choose from on a birth certificate.” Critics of the SB#1100 claim it is an attack on their personal identity and creates barriers for housing and employment. 

     SB#1503, authored by Senator Daniels and Representative Todd Russ, (R-Cordell), creates the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act.  It provides a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion unless they have determined whether the unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat.SB#1503 was approved by the state House by a vote of 68-12 and the Senate by a vote of 33-11.  SB#1503 will now go to the Governor’s office for his signature. Three observations:

     First, the need to pass laws on both of these issues would have been unthinkable just fifty years ago.  American culture has moved further and further away from common sense and more to the bizarre.  Accepting wrong as right and doing what is right in your own eyes is the order of the day.  Civility is out the window.  The tolerant are intolerant.  Respect for a differing opinion is considered weakness.  The times, they are crazy.

     Second, expect the birth certificate bill (SB#1100) to be ruled unconstitutional.  The U.S. State Department lost a federal suit to have only two gender designations on passports.  The State Department recently issued a passport with the gender designation of X.    

        Third, motives are not always pure.  An Oklahoma Democrat legislator publicly declared Republicans are using these issues (gender identity/abortion) to ‘grandstand’ for their upcoming 2022 campaign.  In certain case, that may be true.  Just like Mr. Democrat using these same issues to ‘grandstand’ to his base. Mr. Pot- meet Kettle.  Motive is what moves people to induce a certain action.  It is impossible another person’s motive, but in politics, it is universally self-serving.

     In the coming days, the state Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of these two bills- and others.  The court is composed of nine (9) justices, who are nominated by a state commission and then appointed by the governor for life.  Justices face voters every six years on a retention ballot. Since Oklahoma went to a retention ballot, no judge has been removed from office.   

     Expect inconsistent, unpredictable, varying, incoherent rulings that don’t square with Oklahoma values for the high court.  Oklahoma needs radical judicial reform, because the judicial retention system does not work.  The result is a judiciary not being accountable to the people.   


James L. said...

Hello, Steve, this is quite a timely post of yours. Nothing in recent days would have any more merit to be a piece that you could use to contribute as a source to this article about the U.S. Supreme Court. Since you posted this on May 1, I'll just leave it at that, as neither you nor I could have expected the news of today.

Anyway, the Heartbeat Act focuses on the idea that a human life cannot be ended forcefully by a medical practitioner if a heartbeat is detected. Now, if you were a woman who did not want to bear a child, you would not just shrug your shoulders if a doctor told you that an abortion couldn't be performed because of a heartbeat. A heartbeat does not mean that the fetus has a chance of living outside the womb, but you so-called "Christians" disregard this fact because a life is a life. Now on its face value, that is a sentiment I can get behind, but the history of conservative Republican rhetoric regarding single mothers and beneficiaries of welfare tells another story.

This mismatch of ideology about childcare is the basis for the Democratic opponents' position on abortion: conservatives only care about the "unborn child" until the child is born. There is no regard for the extreme physical and emotional burdens placed on the mother, and no exceptions are made for rapists or other sex offenders who might have impregnated the mother.

The whole idea of making abortion illegal entirely rests on religious and moral beliefs. Well, to hell with that. I say that if you don't want an abortion, don't get one. If you do want one, fine. There are plenty of agencies and organizations available to help mothers in distress to make that decision during pregnancy. It is not up to either you or I, Steve, as neither of us will ever bear that burden.

"It is impossible another person's motive, but in politics, it is universally self-serving." What does that even mean? Did you type that sentence at the end of a bottle of bourbon?

You, Steve, are an absolute asshat if you blindly agree with the recent bills passed in our state, and that isn't even taking into question the events of today.

LCM said...

Dear Mr. Fair:

We do live in strange times, but let's not pretend that only some people have departed from traditional values. A few years ago, it would have been unthinkable to accuse any random political opponent of pedophilia and grooming, or to elect people who talk about space lasers, snake venom, or assert that we need to kill _____. A few years ago, we would not have had a national election that benefitted the Republican party except for one person, only to have what seems like all those Republicans who *did* get elected rant on and on about election fraud in order to curry favor with one man. You all used to have more backbone.

Maybe a state with a whopping divorce rate and some of the worst healthcare statistics in the nation regarding maternal and infant health might want to put their money and attention where their mouths are. Why is this sorry state of affairs all right and where is the love for our most vulnerable citizens? You'd almost think we are just hypocrites.