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 stated Friday the annual attack on transgender students sends “a signal to potential providers that Kansas is additional focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a spot exactly where young persons want to perform and raise a household.”
“Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about — politics,” Kelly stated. “It will not boost any test scores. It will not enable any children study or create. It will not enable any teachers prepare our children for the actual globe. Here’s what this bill would in fact do: harm the mental well being of our students.”
Property Bill 2238 would need young children 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 stated earlier this year that the law would apply to around two student athletes in Kansas schools.
Republicans hold supermajority ranks in each chambers, but it remains unclear no matter if they have the 84 votes required to override the veto in the Property. A single Democrat joined Republicans in the Property in passing the bill by an 82-40 margin on Feb. 23. Republicans in the Senate, which requirements 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 equivalent bills in 2021 and 2022.
Republicans argue the bill is essential to safeguard 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 stated guys shouldn’t compete in women’s sports. But Republicans have refused to acknowledge a distinction amongst guys and transgender girls.
“Now that she no longer has to face the voters, the governor has completed one more about face,” stated Property Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican.
Hawkins stated the bill passed the Property and Senate “with broad help to safeguard the rights of female athletes in the state by requiring that female student athletic teams only consist of members who are biologically female. This is frequent sense. Republicans in the Property will make every single 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, stated the bill was “never about sports or athletes.”
“Not only does this bill fail to realize the distinction amongst sex and gender, but dehumanizes cisgender girls by measuring them by the prospective function of their reproductive organs,” Nazir stated. “The Kansas Legislature really should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to infringe on the privacy of minors.”
The Legislature has 30 calendar days to attempt to override a veto, which indicates lawmakers would have to try an override ahead of the frequent session is scheduled to finish April six.
Rep. Floyd Carr was the lone Democrat to vote in favor of the legislation. He is a 1st-term legislator from Wichita.
Rep. Mark Schreiber, an Emporia Republican, and Rep. David Younger, a Ulysses Republican and retired educator, broke from celebration ranks to vote against the bill.
Two other Republicans, Rep. Randy Garber, of Sabetha, and Rep. Tom Kessler, of Wichita, have been absent from the vote, along with Topeka Democrat Rep. Virgil Weigel.