State Watch

Kansas governor vetoes transgender sports ban

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) on Thursday vetoed a bill that aimed to ban transgender women and girls from participating in women’s or girls’ sports.

Kelly said the bill “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide.”

The measure, which was called “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” required “intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by public educational institutions to be designated based on biological sex,” according to a summary of the bill.

It would prohibit athletic teams that are designated for women or girls from being open to students “of the male sex.”

The bill passed the state House and Senate earlier in April.

In her statement, Kelly said that Kansas should be “focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us.”

“Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that,” she said.

The veto comes as a number of GOP-led states consider legislation restricting the rights of transgender people, pushing back on President Biden’s executive order aimed at preventing discrimination against LGBTQ students. Some of these bills, however, have been vetoed by GOP governors.

Most recently, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) vetoed legislation on Wednesday preventing transgender girls from playing on girls athletic teams.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) vetoed similar legislation, though she issued executive orders on the subject soon after.

Tags Joe Biden Kansas Kristi Noem Laura Kelly LGBTQ rights transgender sports ban

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