Kansas Board Sets Rule on Trans Athletes

Legislature failed to override governor's veto of another anti-trans measure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2023 4:31 AM CDT
Kansas Legislature Fails to Override Veto on Anti-Trans Bill
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gives her inaugural address to start her second term in office, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, outside the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.   (AP Photo/John Hanna)

A Kansas board decided Wednesday that high schools and middle schools must see transgender athletes' first birth certificates to decide what teams they can join, while an effort in the Legislature to end gender-affirming care for transgender minors failed. The Kansas State High School Activities Association's executive board took a key step in helping the state enforce a ban on female transgender athletes in girls' and women's sports. It replaced a policy that allowed decisions to be made athlete by athlete with one that says transgender girls will not be allowed to compete on girl's teams, starting July 1, the AP reports.

The new policy follows a law enacted by the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this month over a veto from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. The governor vetoed five GOP bills rolling back transgender rights, and Republicans are headed toward overriding three more, including a veto of a sweeping bathroom bill. But GOP conservatives didn't have the two-thirds majorities needed to override Kelly's veto of a bill that would require the state medical board to revoke the licenses of doctors who provide puberty blocking medications, hormone treatments and surgery for transgender minors. The Senate's vote on an override Wednesday was 26-14, leaving supporters one vote shy.

"This bill goes too far in our reaching out to take that place of parental responsibility of supporting their children and with the advice of their medical doctor," said Democratic state Sen. Pat Pettey, of Kansas City, who voted "no." The bills in Kansas are part of a broader push by Republicans across the US against LGBTQ+ rights, particularly transgender rights. At least seven have bathroom laws, at least 21 restrict transgender athletes, and at least 14 have enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming care. (More Kansas stories.)

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