Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill into law Tuesday that ensures only “male” and “female” gender options are offered on birth certificates issued in the state.
According to Fox 13 News, Oklahoma is the first state to write a ban on nonbinary gender markers on birth certificates into law.
On Thursday, the state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit to exempt members of the state’s National Guard from the nationwide coronavirus vaccine mandate, The Hill reports.
The suit, filed in federal court by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.), names Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as defendants. The suit requests that the courts declare the national vaccine mandate for all members of the armed services to be unconstitutional, and thus enjoin the federal government from enforcing it on the Oklahoma National Guard; the suit also seeks to prevent the federal government from imposing its penalty for refusal to comply, which would include withholding federal funds from the state’s National Guard.
“This mandate ensures that many Oklahoma National Guard members will simply quit instead of getting a vaccine,” the suit reads in part, “a situation that will irreparably harm Oklahomans’ safety and security.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona National Guard did respond to queries from The Arizona Sun Times regarding whether Arizona would follow the lead of Oklahoma and its National Guard decision not to enforce the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
A source familiar with the Arizona National Guard’s vaccine policy told that commanders in the Arizona National Guard have already begun ordering troops to get the vaccine.
The source said based on their understanding of the internal dynamics of the Arizona Guard Ducey could reverse this vaccination push and follow Oklahoma’s lead.
While Ducey remains silent, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, now running for the 2022 GOP Senate nomination, sued the Biden administration twice over the mandate.
Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has said he’s opposed to mandates, including COVID-19 vaccine mandates. However, many current vaccine mandates are federally-ordered, including a mandate for all members of the Armed Forces on active duty, or in ready reserve, including the National Guard.
Some Republican governors are testing their power to defy the order. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt appointed a new adjutant general of that state’s national guard after the previous adjutant general ignored Stitt’s request to fight the mandate. Last week, the new adjutant general said no Oklahoma Guardsmen who are not federally mobilized would have to take the vaccine.
Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona are hosting nine governors in Mission, Texas, Wednesday to denounce President Joe Biden’s policies leading to a surge in illegal immigration at the southern border.
“Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your state a chance to stand strong with us,” Ducey and Abbott said in a joint statement this summer. Both governors issued disaster and emergency declarations in their states earlier this year, citing increased crime and financial strains on county governments and law enforcement because of the surge in illegal immigration due to Biden’s policies.
The governor of Oklahoma announced Friday that abortions are temporarily banned in the state.