TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly for the third straight year has vetoed model legislation that would ban transgender girls from playing college sports with cisgender girls.
The Democratic governor mentioned Friday the annual attack on transgender students sends “a signal to potential businesses that Kansas is far more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a spot exactly where young people today want to function and raise a loved ones.
“Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about — politics,” Kelly mentioned. “It will not raise any test scores. It will not aid any youngsters study or create. It will not aid any teachers prepare our youngsters for the true globe. Here’s what this bill would really do: harm the mental overall health of our students. That is specifically why Republican governors have joined me in vetoing comparable bills.”
Residence Bill 2238 would need youngsters as young as kindergarten age to participate in college activities primarily based on the gender they have been assigned at birth. Challenges potentially could expose them to genital inspections.
The Kansas State Higher College Activities Association mentioned earlier this year that the law would apply to about two student athletes in Kansas schools.
Republicans hold supermajority ranks in each chambers, but it remains unclear irrespective of whether they have the 84 votes necessary to override the veto in the Residence. One particular Democrat joined Republicans in the Residence in passing the bill by an 82-40 margin on Feb. 23. Republicans in the Senate, which only demands 27 votes to override a veto, passed the bill by a 28-11 margin on March 9.
Debates this year have mirrored previous discussions on transgender athletes. The Legislature passed comparable bills in 2021 and 2022.
Republicans argue the bill is required to guard girls from losing scholarship possibilities or sharing locker rooms with boys, and often use speaking points spawned by anti-LGBTQ hate groups that crafted the model legislation.
When the governor campaigned for reelection final year, she acknowledged that guys shouldn’t compete in women’s sports. But Republicans have refused to acknowledge a distinction involving guys and transgender females.
“Now that she no longer has to face the voters, the governor has performed a different about face,” mentioned Residence Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican.
Hawkins mentioned the bill passed the Residence and Senate “with broad help to guard the rights of female athletes in the state by requiring that female student athletic teams only include things like members who are biologically female. This is popular sense. Republicans in the Residence will make each work to override this veto.”
Rija Nazir, of Loud Light, participates in a March six, 2023, rally at the Statehouse for bodily autonomy. She says legislation targeting transgender athletes was in no way about sports. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)
Rija Nazir, of the civic action group Loud Light, mentioned the bill was “never about sports or athletes.”
“Not only does this bill fail to realize the distinction involving sex and gender, but dehumanizes cisgender girls by measuring them by the prospective function of their reproductive organs,” Nazir mentioned. “The Kansas Legislature must be ashamed of themselves for attempting to infringe on the privacy of minors.”
This building story will be updated.