Kansas lawmakers likely to pass bill protecting women's sports

Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. (April 8, 2021) — Pro-family lawmakers in Kansas are preparing to pass a measure to protect women's sports from the increasing pressure by the left to allow boys who claim to be girls to play for female teams.

Republican negotiators for the state House and Senate on education issues agreed to strip an unrelated bill of its contents, drop in the proposed ban and send the measure to both chambers for an up-or-down vote by the end of the week. The resulting measure is all but certain to pass, given both chambers' GOP supermajorities and conservative leaders.

Kansas is among more than 20 states that have considered such a ban this year, pushing back against an executive order from Democratic President Joe Biden aimed at imposing the transgender sexual agenda on states. Idaho enacted such a ban last year, and Republican governors in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have signed measures into law this year.

Supporters argued that they’re preserving decades of hard-won opportunities for “biological” girls and women to compete in K-12 sports and win college athletic scholarships.

“We want to protect all female athletes, K through collegiate,” said Sen. Renee Erickson, a Wichita Republican and former college basketball player who is the ban's main legislative sponsor.

Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly, a supporter of LGBTQ rights, has sent strong signals that she would veto the bill, calling it “regressive” and suggesting it would hurt the state's efforts to recruit businesses.

Supporters of such bans have pointed repeatedly to the 15 championships won between 2017 and 2019 by two transgender high school runners in Connecticut, which prompted a federal lawsuit. They argue that transgender girls and women have innate physical advantages in girls’ and women’s sports that would ruin competition.

“As a mother of three daughters and one son, I want my daughters to be able to fairly compete,” said Rep. Kristey Williams, a Wichita-area conservative who was House Republicans’ chief negotiator. “I must support our girls.”

 

 

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