Kansas Governor Vetoes Transgender Ban in Womens’ Sports

Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a bill last Friday that had been passed by the state’s Republican-led legislature that would ban males identifying as female from participating in girls’ and womens’ organized athletics.

In her veto message, Kelly wrote that she wants a “fair and safe place” for athletes, but said the bill came to her from “politicians trying to score political points.”

State Republicans have promised to continue to fight to pass the bill by attempting an override of Kelly’s veto.

Republican state Senate President Ty Masterson said that the law titled the “Fairness in
Women’s Sports Act,” simply sets out guidelines that preserve fair competition for women as it has already been “recognized for decades.”

The Kansas bill would operate similarly to laws recently enacted in other states to prevent biological males from dominating and fundamentally altering female athletics from elementary school through college.

Kentucky’s GOP-led state legislature voted last week to override the veto of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear to enact a similar law banning biological males from competing in female sports.

In the last month, transgender participation in female sports bans have also been vetoed by Republican governors in Indiana and Utah. The legislature in Utah overrode the veto to enact its law. The final fate of the bill in Indiana has not been determined.

The issue of transgender participation in women’s athletics has become a focal point of public attention recently as Lia Thomas, a male born as William Thomas who decided as an adult to identify as a female, joined the women’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania. Thomas immediately began crushing women’s swimming records and easily defeated women Olympians.

A group of female Olympic and NCAA swimming and diving champions joined recently to write to the NCAA to demand that women’s sports be protected. Former NCAA champion Marshi Smith told Fox News that the group has been motivated to act publicly in order to be heard. She said that she and other mothers are feeling for the first time that their daughters will not have the same athletic opportunities that they did when growing up.