For the third year in a row, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has vetoed an anti-transgender sports bill — but this year legislators may well override her.
In her veto message on Residence Bill 2238, Kelly mentioned the regulations of the Kansas Higher College Activities Association are enough to assure fairness in sports.
“As I’ve mentioned just before, we all want a fair and secure spot for our children to play and compete,” she mentioned in a statement Friday. “That’s why I help the Kansas State Higher College Activities Association, which was set up to assure no one has an unfair benefit on the playing field. The Legislature need to let the Association do its job.
“Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about – politics. It will not improve any test scores. It will not assist any children study or create. It will not assist any teachers prepare our children for the genuine planet. Here’s what this bill would truly do: harm the mental overall health of our students. That is specifically why Republican governors have joined me in vetoing comparable bills.
“This bill would also reverse the progress we’ve created in recruiting corporations and building jobs. It would send a signal to potential firms that Kansas is much more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a spot exactly where young individuals want to operate and raise a loved ones.”
HB 2238 would have barred trans girls and girls from competing on female sports teams in K-12 schools, clubs, and public colleges. There are only 3 trans athletes participating in college sports in the state, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
Legislators have 30 days from the time they acquire Kelly’s official veto notice to try an override. “Republicans have much more than the two-thirds majorities in each chambers necessary to override a veto, but in 2021 and 2022, a couple of GOP moderates voted against overriding Kelly,” the Connected Press notes. “The Residence and Senate votes on this year’s bill recommend supporters could have just adequate votes to prevail.”
So far, 18 states have restricted trans participation on college sports. This year, Kansas has observed the introduction of not only the sports bill but a selection of other anti-trans measures, which includes a ban on gender-affirming care for youth and a “bathroom bill.”
The Human Rights Campaign praised Kelly’s veto. “Anti-equality legislators in Kansas have spent years repeatedly targeting a smaller group of currently marginalized young individuals who want to play sports for the identical explanation all students do — to discover sportsmanship, self-discipline and teamwork, and to have exciting,” mentioned a statement from Cathryn Oakley, HRC state legislative director and senior counsel. “The legislature has created it clear that this discrimination is what it stands for, in spite of just about every piece of proof displaying that there is no rational explanation underpinning this legislation.
“In contrast, Governor Kelly treated Kansas students with dignity and respect by refusing to let kids and college athletics to be treated as a political game. By vetoing this discriminatory legislation she not only took a stand against discrimination, but she also saved Kansas taxpayers the expense of defending this litigation in court, as other states have had to do. Transgender children are children — they deserve just about every chance that any kid does. All students, and all Kansans, are far better off mainly because of Governor Kelly’s selection right now.”