(Reuters) – Democrat Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Thursday vetoed a Republican bill banning transgender girls from participating in school sports, in a defeat for a campaign nationwide this year to limit the rights of transgender people.
The veto appears to persist as Republican-controlled House and Senate passes lack the number of votes needed to overtake the governor, who cites the prospect of businesses boycotting the state. is the reason to reject the bill.
“The act sends a dire message that Kansas does not welcome all children and their families, including transgender people,” Kelly said in a statement announcing a veto. “As Kansans, we should focus on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude people who may differ from us.”
Republicans have introduced similar bills in states across the country, saying they are meant to protect fairness in the sports of women and girls, despite transgender athletes. do not dominate their sports and very few people participate.
Arkansas and Mississippi have passed similar bills banning transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports, and the governor of South Dakota signed that effective executive order.
More than 20 states have considered about 100 laws restricting the rights of transgender people, such as Arkansas, that have passed a ban on certain types of sex-affirming health care treatment for transgender youth.
The Arkansas Legislature has denied the governor’s veto, making it the first state to ban puberty-blocking drugs, transgender hormones, or sex-determination surgery on minors.
Proponents of the health care bill say they want to protect children from medical procedures they will later regret.
Transgender advocates and civil rights groups have vowed to contest sports and wellness measures, calling them unconstitutional attempts to incite the right-wing in the American cultural war.
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