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TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly for the third straight year has vetoed model legislation that would ban transgender girls from playing college sports with cisgender girls.

The Democratic governor mentioned Friday the annual attack on transgender students sends “a signal to potential organizations that Kansas is additional focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a spot exactly where young persons want to function and raise a family members.

“Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about — politics,” Kelly mentioned. “It will not raise any test scores. It will not support any children study or create. It will not support any teachers prepare our children for the true planet. Here’s what this bill would basically do: harm the mental well being of our students. That is specifically why Republican governors have joined me in vetoing related bills.”

Home Bill 2238 would demand young children as young as kindergarten age to participate in college activities primarily based on the gender they have been assigned at birth. Challenges potentially could expose them to genital inspections.

The Kansas State Higher College Activities Association mentioned earlier this year that the law would apply to roughly two student athletes in Kansas schools.

Republicans hold supermajority ranks in each chambers, but it remains unclear no matter whether they have the 84 votes required to override the veto in the Home. One particular Democrat joined Republicans in the Home in passing the bill by an 82-40 margin on Feb. 23. Republicans in the Senate, which only requires 27 votes to override a veto, passed the bill by a 28-11 margin on March 9.

Debates this year have mirrored previous discussions on transgender athletes. The Legislature passed related bills in 2021 and 2022.

Republicans argue the bill is required to guard girls from losing scholarship possibilities or sharing locker rooms with boys, and often use speaking points spawned by anti-LGBTQ hate groups that crafted the model legislation.

When the governor campaigned for reelection final year, she acknowledged that guys shouldn’t compete in women’s sports. But Republicans have refused to acknowledge a distinction in between guys and transgender females.

“Now that she no longer has to face the voters, the governor has completed a different about face,” mentioned Home Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican.

Hawkins mentioned the bill passed the Home and Senate “with broad help to guard the rights of female athletes in the state by requiring that female student athletic teams only contain members who are biologically female. This is popular sense. Republicans in the Home will make every single work to override this veto.”

Rija Nazir, of Loud Light, participates in a March six, 2023, rally at the Statehouse for bodily autonomy. She says legislation targeting transgender athletes was in no way about sports. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

The Legislature has 30 calendar days to try an override of the veto, which suggests lawmakers would have to try an override just before the standard session is scheduled to finish April six.

Rija Nazir, of the civic action group Loud Light, mentioned the bill was “never about sports or athletes.”

“Not only does this bill fail to have an understanding of the distinction in between sex and gender, but dehumanizes cisgender girls by measuring them by the possible function of their reproductive organs,” Nazir mentioned. “The Kansas Legislature really should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to infringe on the privacy of minors.”

This creating story will be updated.

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