Kansas Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto On Bill To Check Genitals Of Kids Playing Sports

With the successful override of Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a transgender student athlete ban, transgender girls are now barred from participating in women’s sports from kindergarten through college.

The veto was overridden by a vote of 84-40 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate on Wednesday. Both chambers barely made the two-thirds majority needed to override Kelly’s March veto, the third year in a row. Kansas is now the 20th state to enact a ban on transgender student athletes.

From elementary school to college, children are required to engage in school activities according on the gender assigned to them at birth. Difficulties could include requiring them to undergo genital examinations or providing a birth certificate as verification of the child’s gender.

“It sort of breaks my heart,” Kelly said. “It certainly is disappointing. I know that there’s some legislators for whom this was a very, very hard vote, and one that I think they will regret as they look back on their time in the Legislature.”

Republicans control both chambers with supermajorities. The bill was first passed by the House on Feb. 23 by an 82-40 vote, with Wichita Democrat Rep. Ford Carr joining Republicans in support. On March 9, the Senate passed the bill 28-11.

During the House vote, Shawnee Democrat Rep. Susan Ruiz stood up and addressed several of the Republican members who voted in favor of the ban, calling them “full of s***.” She claimed that she responded this way because she saw Republican lawmakers smiling after the ban was enacted.

“[Wichita Republican Rep. Patrick Penn] came in gloating, and it’s wrong,” Ruiz said in an interview after the vote. “This is all about wins and losses for them. This is a win for them. They don’t care what kind of a win it is. They don’t care about the unintended consequences. They don’t care that trans kids have a target on their back.”

Rep. Heather Meyer, an Overland Park Democrat with a transgender child, stood up to show off her “Protect trans youth” t-shirt.

Ban transgender to end racism, push women’s rights?

Several Republicans in the House agreed that the restriction was necessary, despite the fact that there is no proof that transgender athletes have an influence on women’s sports in Kansas. One prominent argument in favor of the restriction is that allowing transgender women to engage in female sports will deprive women athletes of a fair chance to compete.

Republican Rep. Patrick Penn stated that not prohibiting transgender athletes is racist. He added that Black women should not be forced to relinquish their achievements because a “man decided to suit up with the females and go dominate the court.”

“Vote yes, override this veto, end racism,” Penn said.

Rep. Barbara Wasinger, a Hays Republican who introduced the bill banning transgender student athletes, said it was about defending women’s rights. She stated that refusing to approve the ban would be repressive, adding that we should not “go back in time.”

“While we were hopeful the governor would meet us in the middle and honor her campaign rhetoric, we stood firm on our commitment to fairness for Kansas women. Today, the hard work of so many prevailed when this important bill got across the goal line,” Senate President Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, said.

The ban is one of several pieces of legislation aimed at transgender youths across the state, including a proposed “women’s bill of rights” that would prohibit transgender women from entering female-designated spaces and a bill that would prevent those under the age of 18 from receiving gender-affirming treatment.

Transgender kids in Kansas

According to the Kansas State High School Activities Association, the measure would apply to around two student athletes in Kansas schools. Rep. Jerry Stogsdill, a Democrat, said he called the KSHSAA on Tuesday and learned that 11 of Kansas’ 109,402 children registered in activities are transitioning, and not all of them are playing sports. Stogsdill stated that the athletics association has received no complaints about these transsexual students.

National organizations advocated for the transgender student athlete ban, and similar legislation has been introduced in Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and other states. Transgender student athletes are prohibited in 19 states.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis –a presumptive 2024 presidential challenger for the Republican nomination– signed a bill in 2021 barring transgender females from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes born as girls.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.”

Information for this briefing was found via Kansas Reflector and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Kansas Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto On Bill To Check Genitals Of Kids Playing Sports

  • April 6, 2023 2:03 PM at 2:03 pm

    Need to have a state wide protest. All students in sports should walk out and refuse participation asap until they change this!


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