• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

Kansas Governor Vetoes Anti-Trans Sports Bill for Third Consecutive Year


Mar 18, 2023

For the third year in a row, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has vetoed an anti-transgender sports bill — but this year legislators might override her.

In her veto message on Home Bill 2238, Kelly stated the regulations of the Kansas Higher College Activities Association are adequate to assure fairness in sports.

“As I’ve stated prior to, we all want a fair and protected location for our children to play and compete,” she stated 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 really should let the Association do its job.

“Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about – politics. It will not enhance 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 basically do: harm the mental overall health of our students. That is specifically why Republican governors have joined me in vetoing related bills.

“This bill would also reverse the progress we’ve created in recruiting companies and producing jobs. It would send a signal to potential providers that Kansas is additional focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a location exactly where young individuals want to function and raise a family members.”

HB 2238 would have barred trans girls and females 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 get Kelly’s official veto notice to try an override. “Republicans have additional 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 Related Press notes. “The Home and Senate votes on this year’s bill recommend supporters could have just sufficient votes to prevail.”

So far, 18 states have restricted trans participation on college sports. This year, Kansas has noticed the introduction of not only the sports bill but a assortment 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 similar purpose all students do — to discover sportsmanship, self-discipline and teamwork, and to have entertaining,” stated 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 each and every piece of proof displaying that there is no rational purpose underpinning this legislation.

“In contrast, Governor Kelly treated Kansas students with dignity and respect by refusing to enable youngsters 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 each and every chance that any kid does. All students, and all Kansans, are improved off mainly because of Governor Kelly’s selection currently.”