TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas is banning girls and women’s sports from kindergarten through college, the first of several possible new laws restricting the rights of transgender people from Republican lawmakers on the Democratic president’s wish.
The Legislature on Wednesday overrode Gov. Laura Kelly stepped down for the third time in three years of a bill to ban transgender athletes, and the day has come for advocates of statewide bathroom bans. Nineteen other states have imposed restrictions on transgender athletes, the most recent being Wyoming.
Kansas law It takes effect on July 1 and is among several hundred proposals Republican lawmakers have passed across the US this year to crack down on LGBTQ rights. Kansas lawyers who repeal the ban are also pursuing goals to end sex-affirming to minors and to restrict the use of the toilet.
The measure was approved by Kansas experts Tuesday It would prevent transgender people from using public restrooms, restrooms and other facilities associated with their gender identity, and prevent them from changing their name or gender on their driver’s licenses. Kelly is expected to veto that.
“It’s a scary time to raise a child across Kansas,” said Cat Poland, a lifelong Kansas resident and mother of three who coordinates the Gay-Straight Alliance for her 13-year-old son’s school across about 40 miles (65 kilometers) of Wichita. “We can have real threats to move against her, and it’s heartbreaking.”
Ban rushes religious conservatives, it shows on the 2012 platform The Republican Party of Kansas – “We believe that God created man and woman” – echoes the views of many Republicans and their statements that I do not like any cultural change towards acceptance.
“I mean, it was 1960, and, you know, little boy Johnny and little girl Mary, and this is just the time,” Republican state Rep. John Eplee, a 70-year-old physician, said during the debate on the bathroom bill.
LGBTQ rights advocates say they are part of a national campaign by the right-wing to abolish traditionalism transgender, non-binary, gender-queer and gender-fluid people from American society.
Alex Polonus, the country’s eighth-ranked runner, who hopes to play baseball next year, said lawmakers were pursuing “provisions against children” that “didn’t harm anyone.”
Alex, who lobbied for trans rights with his mother at the Statehouse last week, said it’s good for the mental health of trans kids to play on teams associated with their identities, and that most other kids just don’t care.
It’s mostly adults who “only care about the kids acting out,” Alex said.
Kelly told reporters in the Kansas City area that he believes lawmakers will finally regret voting for “this really terrible bill.”
“It breaks my heart and it’s certainly disappointing,” Kelly said.
The first state law regarding transgender athletes in Idaho in 2020; They came after conservatives faced a national backlash over a short-lived 2016 bathroom law in North Carolina. In Kansas, the biggest obstacle to conservatives was Kelly, who narrowly won re-election last year after he had taken himself into the political center.
Conservative Republicans in Kansas lacked the two-thirds majorities in both legislative chambers needed to vote on transgender athlete bills in 2021 and 2022. Kelly wins, but this year, the House voted 84-40 in order to destroy his intercession, exactly two-thirds of the majority are necessary. A wish it was 28-12 in the senate one more than two-thirds majority.
Supporters of the impeachment could not intercede for Kelly this year but only the Democrats could side with them against the president. Marvin Robinson, from Kansas City, told reporters that he “wanted to meet in the middle” but found the controversy “all or none there.” He said he prayed before he was led.
Two LGBTQ Democratic lawmakers from the Kansas City area were especially upset that Republicans were cheering for the court’s vote.
Rep. Heather Meyer got up, opened her shirt and revealed a “Protect Trans Youth” T-shirt before making a rude gesture and left the room. Rep. Susan Ruiz yelled at GOP members, cursing them briefly before signaling that she was out of order.
“We’re done putting up with her, and we’re tired of putting up with her,” he said later. “It doesn’t have to be any respect.”
Across the US, supporters of such bans are fighting to keep the competition fair. Track and field last month banned transgender athletes from international competition; using the same swimming rules he did last year.
Supporters argue that they also ensure that girls and women who are shot do not lose out on letters and other opportunities that did not exist for those decades.
“Over the past fifty years, women have finally been able to celebrate our differences and create a division that allows us to achieve similar athletic endeavors to our male counterparts.” Caroline Bruce McAndrew a former Olympic swimmer and member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame testified to Wichita lawmakers.
LGBTQ rights advocates acknowledge that arguments about the suit resonate outside the country’s conservative base because of the long-standing assumption that men and boys are naturally stronger than women and girls.
They are also futile because the debate often centers on whether transgender athletes should or should win championships.
Hudson Taylor, a three-time Collegiate All-American wrestler, said the sport teaches youth about discipline, “healthy behaviors,” and having fun in a supportive environment. He founded and leads the pro-LGBTQ All Athletes group.
“There has been a professionalization of youth sports for 40 years,” Taylor said. “Often the lawmakers and people who oppose the inclusion of trans athletes are actually going directly to the elite, the most talented, hopeful Olympic athletes.”
Kansas is considering banning transgender athletes from women’s and girls’ teams starting in kindergarten, even though sports and other extracurricular activities don’t appear until the seventh grade, according to the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
That’s one reason LGBTQ-rights advocates are skeptical that the real issue is equal competition. Another issue is the shortage of transgender female athletes.
The state association said three transgender girls competed in the games in grades 7-12 this year, two of them seniors. Taylor said transgender athletes in college probably number fewer than 500. He said of 219,000 women to play collegiate sports.
The international track and field ban does not affect one female athlete.
Cat Poland, a Kansas mother with a trans son, said: “They’re just holding on to the next, next, next step, until where are they supposed to go? Where can they be safe and happy and live fulfilling lives?