TOPEKA (KSNT)- The Kansas Legislature has officially passed a bill defining biological sex, forwarding it to the governor’s desk Tuesday.
The Senate voted 28-12 to approve of amendments to Senate Bill 180 on Tuesday. The bill defines words like “woman,” “man,” “mother” and “father” based on biological sex.
In a statement last month, House Republican leaders championed the bill as a step to protect women’s privacy in areas like sports, restrooms, locker rooms and domestic violence centers.
“The right to privacy, safety, and equal opportunity in a single-sex space is a basic protection that each female in Kansas deserves. However, this right is currently under threat by ideologues attempting to redefine common language in a manner that separates sex from biology therefore compromising the safety, privacy, and equal opportunity of females in Kansas.”Speaker of the House Dan Hawkins, Majority Leader Chris Croft and Speaker Pro Tem Blake Carpenter issued the following statement, following the vote.
However, during floor debates, democrats argued that the bill is aimed at attacking transgender youth in the state.
“It does nothing to protect women’s rights, but instead weaponizes the rhetoric of rights to erase protections for trans and non-binary people,” said Rep. Lindsay Vaugh, D-Overland Park.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, who vetoed a bill banning transgender athletes from women sports last month, vowed to veto similar legislation moving forward in the Legislature. Kelly spoke during Equality Day at the Capitol last week.
“Bills like this send a signal that here in Kansas, we’re more focused on passing divisive, unnecessary, and unpopular legislation than on making our great state a place where young people want to come to live, work, and raise a family. These bills would push people away, reversing the economic progress we’ve made in the last few years by recruiting businesses and creating jobs throughout Kansas. Clearly, we have better things to do than create laws that are rooted in hate.”Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, (D) Kansas
The bill passed the House 83-41 last month, with one Republican Representative absent. If the governor vetoes the bill, the House will need 84 votes to override the veto, and 27 votes in the Senate.