Kansas Governor Vetoes Four Anti-Trans Bills; Republicans Will Try to Override
Author: Trudy Ring
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, vetoed four anti-transgender bills Thursday, but the Republican-dominated legislature is setting up to attempt overrides.
Kelly vetoed a ban on gender-affirming care for trans minors, a bill restricting restroom use, a measure requiring gender segregation according to birth sex on overnight school trips, and one mandating similar segregation in jails, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
Kelly, who had vowed to veto any anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, issued a statement saying the bills were “stripping away rights.” She also said they would hurt the state’s economy.
“Companies have made it clear that they are not interested in doing business with states that discriminate against workers and their families,” she said. “By stripping away rights from Kansans and opening the state up to expensive and unnecessary lawsuits, these bills would hurt our ability to continue breaking economic records and landing new business deals.”
“I’m focused on the economy. Anyone care to join me?” she added.
The gender-affirming care bill, Senate Bill 26, would ban the provision of such care to anyone under 18 for the purpose of gender transition. It would apply not only to surgeries but to puberty blockers and hormone treatment. Doctors who defy the restrictions would have their licenses revoked, and those who regret transition could sue.
Overriding Kelly’s veto of this bill could be difficult, the Capital-Journal notes. Supporters of the measure have the needed two-thirds majority in the Senate, but they may not have it in the House, where 14 Republicans joined most Democrats in voting against the measure previously.
The restroom bill, Senate Bill 180, would define gender as “either male or female, at birth,” so school restrooms and locker rooms, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, state prisons, and some county jails would be segregated according to that definition. It also would have prevented trans people from changing the gender marker on their driver’s licenses. Republicans appear to have the votes to override Kelly’s veto of this legislation.
House Bill 2138 would have mandated segregation by sex assigned at birth for room assignments on overnight school trips, and Senate Bill 228 would have required this separation in jails.
Republicans called Kelly an extremist for her vetoes. She also recently vetoed a bill barring trans girls and women from competing on female sports teams in K-12 schools, clubs, and public colleges, but the legislature overrode that.
“By any reasonable standard, governing from the middle of the road should include ensuring vulnerable children do not become victims of woke culture run amok,” Senate President Ty Masterson said in a statement, according to the Capital-Journal.
Civil rights groups praised Kelly. “Governor Kelly did the right thing,” Cathryn Oakley, the Human Rights Campaign’s state legislative director and senior counsel, said in a press release. By vetoing a series of bills designed solely to discriminate against LGBTQ+ — particularly transgender — Kansans, she rejected the politics of hate and division being perpetrated by the state legislature, all while keeping her focus on the issues that really matter. She’s right that discrimination is bad for business, bad for Kansas, and bad for this nation.”
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring