TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Senate has failed to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a bill that would prevent transgender women from partaking in women’s sports.
The Senate voted to override the veto 26 to 14. SB 55, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, previously passed 26 to 11 in the Senate, and 76 to 43 in the House.
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Gov. Kelly said that it would cause mental harm to athletes and people identifying as transgender.
“This legislation sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender – who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” she said in a news release.
“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”
The bill previously passed by both sides of the Kansas Legislature would have made Kansas public schools and state college teams set up designations for sports based on biological sex: male, female or coed. It would have banned any transgender athlete biologically born male from participating in women’s sports.