TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas bill banning transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports was defeated by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday for the third straight year, sparking a hotly contested battle in the Republican-controlled legislature overwhelm her.
Kelly’s action was expected given her two previous vetoes. Kansas Republicans vetoed Kelly’s motion a big problem in several attack spots on TV when she ran for re-election last year and narrowly won.
The governor said in her veto message that the bill would hurt students’ mental health and harm the state’s efforts to attract businesses. Kelly also said lawmakers should leave the matter to the state association, formed decades ago, to conduct student activities in middle and high schools.
“Let’s be clear what this bill is about — politics,” Kelly wrote. “It will not improve any test scores. It does not help any child to read or write. It will not help any teacher prepare our children for the real world.”
Kelly’s arguments on Friday were similar to those she had made in previous veto messages and during her re-election campaign. Taryn Jones, a lobbyist for LGBTQ rights group Equality Kansas, called the bill “really just unnecessary.”
“They’re okay if they’re discriminating against a marginalized community,” Jones said after the veto.
Republicans have more than the two-thirds majority in both houses needed to override a veto, but in 2021 and 2022 some GOP moderators voted against overriding Kelly. House and Senate votes on this year’s bill suggest supporters may have just enough votes to pass.
“Despite her repeated promises to meet us in the middle, the governor has decided to once again side with the most radical elements of her party,” said Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson, a Republican from the Wichita area. in a statement on Friday.
The measure would apply to girls’ and women’s K-12, club and collegiate sports. If supporters can override Kelly’s veto, Kansas would join 18 other states with such a law, including Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas.
The measure is among dozens of Republican proposals to roll back transgender rights in state buildings across the U.S. Kansas has bills aimed at banning gender-affirming childcare and barring transgender men and women from using bathrooms, locker rooms and others Using facilities associated with their gender identity.
Kelly’s veto came a day later Kentucky’s Republican-dominated legislature agreed a ban on gender-affirming childcare; and the GOP-controlled Iowa Legislature approved a bill on school toilets.
In defense of the legislation, Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican, recently released tweets confirming a theory that has been disproved by several studies that “social contagion” has led to more people identifying as transgender .
He and other Republicans have also argued that banning transgender athletes will preserve fair competition and opportunities for girls and young women.
“That’s common sense,” Hawkins said in a statement on Friday.
Kansas officials and LGBTQ rights advocates say only a handful of young transgender people participate in high school activities — and only one transgender Kansas girl may be on a sports team. Proponents of the bill argue that the state should act before transgender athletes become more widespread.
During her re-election campaign, Kelly aired a TV commercial in which she looked into the camera and said: “Obviously men shouldn’t play girls’ sports. OK, we all agree on that.”
LGBTQ rights advocates understood the ad to mean that because transgender women are women, men don’t play women’s sports. But Republicans said she lied about her record, and they’ve repeated her statement ever since.
“Now that she no longer has to face the voters, the governor has made another about-face,” Hawkins said.
The vote last week in the Senate was 28-11, giving supporters one more than the two-thirds needed in the 40-strong chamber to override a veto.
However, the House would vote first, and the vote there last month was 82-40. While proponents need 84 out of 125 votes to override a veto, it was missing two Republicans supporting the bill.
Last year, supporters lacked a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives, but in last year’s election, three Republicans who supported a ban replaced GOP lawmakers who voted against overriding Kelly’s veto. While no Democrats voted to override Kelly last year, freshman Democratic Assemblyman Ford Carr of Wichita voted in favor of this year’s bill.
Republican lawmakers in Kansas have also prosecuted an invoice to revoke the state medical licenses of physicians who offer anti-puberty drugs, hormone therapy or surgery to transgender minors. It passed the Senate last month, but the House of Representatives did not have a hearing in committee.
Another bill passed by the Senate would define males and females in Kansas law based on a person’s anatomy at birth and would declare that cisgender women and girls have a right to private spaces separate from men, such as bathrooms and locker rooms.
LGBTQ rights advocates have said the measure not only excludes transgender people from institutions associated with their gender identity, but also also delete them lawfully, along with gender non-conforming and non-binary people.
The bill’s language would also prevent transgender people from changing birth certificates and driver’s licenses to reflect their gender identity, although Kansas is among them a 2019 federal court order Allow changes to the birth certificate.
The measure is before the House of Representatives after one of its committees rewrote it this week to prevent it from applying to intersex people. Intersex describes people born with genitals, chromosomes, or reproductive organs that are not associated with typical definitions of male or female.
“We don’t want to marginalize them any longer,” said Republican Rep. Ron Bryce, a southeastern Kansas doctor.
Source : news.yahoo.com