TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Early Friday, both chambers of the Kansas Legislature approved a bill that dictates where trans-women can play in sports.
The proposal bans trans-women from playing on women’s teams in Kansas schools from elementary school to college. The bill does not stop biologically born women from playing men’s sports.
Rep. Barbara Wasinger, R-Hays, believes transgender women are making the playing field uneven for others in women’s sports.
“It’s going on in Connecticut, there’s a federal case because of a transgender person breaking all those records — so you can look at that in Connecticut, so it’s happening in the United States,” she said.
The bill is currently making its way to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk.
“The fact that so many people would vote for discrimination is appalling,” said Rep. Stephanie Byers, D-Wichita.
“We’re not trying to discriminate against anyone. The girls are being discriminated against,” Rep. Wasinger said.
Gov. Kelly can either sign the bill into law or veto it. Rep. Byers says if signed into law it can be damaging for a vulnerable population.
“It tells trans-kids and particularly trans-girls that you’re not welcome in a public high school. You’re not allowed in a place where you should feel loved and accepted,” said Rep. Byers. “We know that trans-kids are five times more likely to take their own lives than the rest of the population.”
Since the bill was introduced, Liz Hamor with GLSEN Kansas says she has noticed the bill’s impact,
“This debate is debating these students’ very identity and existence, whether or not they’re valid. So, that’s real painful and traumatic.”
If vetoed by Governor Kelly, the House and Senate will need two-thirds majority vote to overturn it.