Kansas Lawmakers Enact Bill to Ban Transgender Athletes From Women's Sports

Transgender women and girls in Kansas will no longer be allowed to compete on sports teams from kindergarten through college in adherence to a new bill.

A man protests LGBTQ rights outside of a courthouse

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A man protests LGBTQ rights outside of a courthouse

Kansas lawmakers have passed a bill that bans transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.

The Associated Press reports the state’s legislators this week overrode Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of the bill, titled The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which will now prevent transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women's sports from kindergarten through college. Kansas is the 20th state that’s enacted a bill regarding similar measures. 

“It’s a scary time to be raising a trans child in Kansas,”a Kansas resident and mother of three works with a Gay-Straight Alliance told the AP. “We may face the very real threat of having to move, and it’s heartbreaking.”

Republican lawmakers, who joined forces to overrode Kelly’s attempts at blocking the bill, are enthusiastic about the outcome.

“I wish it was 1960, and, you know, little Johnny’s a boy and Mary’s a girl, and that’s how it is, period,” Republican state Rep. John Eplee told reporters.

Meanwhile, Kelly didn’t shy away from expressing her discomfort with “this really awful bill.”

“It breaks my heart and certainly is disappointing,” Kelly told the press on Friday. “It won’t increase any test scores. It won’t help any kids read or write. It won’t help any teachers prepare our kids for the real world. Here’s what this bill would actually do: harm the mental health of our students.”

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