Kansas governor Laura Kelly vetoes anti-trans bill: “It’s harmful to students and their families”
In a small win for LGBTQ+ rights, Kansas governor Laura Kelly vetoed the state’s anti-trans sports ban.
At the start of April, conservative lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and Senate passed Senate Bill 160 (SB 160) – also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
Like other anti-trans sports bans in the US, transgender girls would be barred from participating in sports teams that align with their gender identity.
However, on 15 April, Kelly announced her veto against the offensive law in a lengthy statement.
“Both Republican and Democratic Governors have joined me in vetoing similar divisive bills for the same reasons: it’s harmful to students and their families and it’s bad for business,” she said.
“We all want a fair and safe space for our kids to play and compete. However, this bill didn’t come from the experts at our schools, our athletes or the Kansas State High School Activities Association. It came from politicians trying to score political points.”
This isn’t the first time that Kelly has vetoed an anti-trans sports ban.
According to a report from the Associated Press, back in April 2021, the House and Senate passed a similar bill to SB 160, but it was ultimately rejected after Kelly described the bill as “regressive.”
Shortly after the veto news was released, LGBTQ+ activists and organisations celebrated the governor for her decision.
Taking to Twitter, the ACLU of Kansas thanked Kelly for rejecting the aforementioned bill.
“The ACLU of Kansas would like to commend Gov. Kelly for vetoing SB 160, a prejudiced and harmful bill that targets trans children in Kansas,” they wrote.
“This bill was legalised bullying in the name of identity politics and it has no place in Kansas. We’re glad that the governor understood how unwanted this legislation was in Kansas.
“Deceitfully, SB 160 was said to promote fairness in sports when it aimed to do the opposite. Fairness is an equal opportunity for kids to participate in sports to learn and grow. All of our children deserve that opportunity and the bright future it can help provide.”
Even though a veto has been announced, there is still a chance that republican lawmakers will attempt to override the decision.
Fortunately, an override is slim due to the House and Senate not having a two-thirds majority to enact the rebuttal.
Over the last few months, an array of anti-trans sports have either been introduced or implemented across the US.