HomeSportsKansas legislature passes bill to ban transgender athletes from girls' sports

Kansas legislature passes bill to ban transgender athletes from girls’ sports

The Republican-led Kansas Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban transgender athletes from playing girls’ or women’s school sports if they were born male.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, is expected to veto the bill, having vetoed two similar measures in the previous two years. But this year, the bill appears to have enough support to override any veto. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Supporters of the law and others like it say it is necessary to ensure a level playing field in women’s sports. Opponents and LGBTQ advocates say the laws are unnecessary, given the small number of transgender athletes in school sports.

Transgender rights have come to the forefront of the US culture wars and political disputes between Republicans and Democrats. At least 18 states have passed or enacted legislation that prevents transgender students from playing on school sports teams corresponding to their gender identity.

The Kansas Senate voted 28-11 Thursday to approve the bill. The House voted 82-40 to pass the measure on February 23. To override the veto, two-thirds of each chamber would vote against the governor’s action.

The latest version of the law excludes transgender girls and women from women’s sports teams in public elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges, as well as from private school teams that compete against public schools.

Several Republican-led states have also passed laws banning health care for transgender youth banning gender-specific care. In some cases, parents and doctors can be charged with crimes if this treatment is given.

Other bills introduced in state legislatures include banning teachers from using pronouns that match a student’s gender identity and requiring transgender people to use the bathroom assigned to their gender at birth.

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