For the third year in a row, Gov. Kelly vetoed a bill approved last week that would ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports.
Republicans have more than the two-thirds majorities needed to override a veto, passing in the House last month by a margin of 82-40, and 28-11 in the Senate last week.
The measure would apply to girls’ and women’s K-12, club and college sports. If Kelly’s veto is overridden, Kansas would join 18 other states that have enacted similar laws.
Kelly has said that such decisions about transgender athletes should be made by schools, doctors, families and local officials. She that the two bills she vetoed previously would have “created unnecessary new government mandates,” adding that their passage would have hurt the state’s business climate.
Kansas GOP lawmakers also have bills aimed at banning gender-affirming care for minors and preventing transgender men and women from using bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities associated with their gender identities. Other bills passed in the Senate would revoke the state medical licenses of doctors providing puberty-blocking drugs, hormone therapy or surgery for transgender minors; while another would define male and female as a person’s anatomy at birth.
The proposed sports ban contains language that would also prevent transgender people from changing birth certificates and driver’s licenses to reflect their gender identities, however the state is under a 2019 federal court order to allow changes to birth certificates.
LGBTQ-rights advocates argue that only small number of young transgender people participate in high school activities, and that only one transgender girl is on a sports team in Kansas.