Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen on Wednesday signed an executive order to enact the controversial Women's Bill of Rights. Photo courtesy Office of Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen
Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen has signed an executive order that narrowly defines male and female, making it the latest state to enact the so-called Women's Bill of Rights as Republicans nationwide seek to restrict the rights of transgender citizens.
Pillen, a Republican, signed the executive order Wednesday, about a month after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, also a Republican, signed a nearly identical executive order on Aug. 1.
The orders, which went into immediate effect, define female as "an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova" and a male as "an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female."
The documents also directed all administrative agencies, boards and commissions to use these definitions when promulgating rules, enforcing decisions and adjudicating administrative disputes.
"It is common sense that men do not belong in women's only spaces. As governor, it is my duty to protect our kids and women's athletics, which means providing single-sex spaces for women's sports, bathrooms and changing rooms," Pillen said in a statement.
The controversial Women's Bill of Rights -- which is supported by the anti-trans group Independent Women's Voice -- has also received the support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, among others.
"Gov. Pillen, thank you for protecting your state's women & girls from sex-discrimination, ensuring sex-based words have clear, common-sense definitions & taking a necessary step to ensure 1 million Nebraska women & girls now live in a state that protects their private spaces & opportunities," Independent Women's Voice said in a statement late Wednesday.
Megan Hunt, Nebraska state Senator in Omaha's District 8, lambasted Pillen for signing what she described as an "offensive and ridiculous proclamation."
She warned the governor that if the executive order is enforced federal resources could be revoked.
"I know Gov. Pillen probably hates the fact that trans people would ever be protected or safe, but that's how it works today and he's putting Nebraskans in danger by continuing to make this group the entire focus of his ignorant and discriminatory agenda," the Democrat tweeted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The governors signed the executive orders amid Republican legislative attacks targeting transgender citizens, in particular minors.
According to the Movement Advancement Project, at least 23 states have passed laws banning transgender students from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. More than 20 states have also implemented bans on youth receiving gender-affirming medical care, it said.