Transgender athlete ban bill slated for Monday

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – After a similar bill failed in the state legislature last session, a new bill called the “Women’s Sports Equity Act” is back this session. . The bill is due to be heard in the Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 484 prohibits transgender female student-athletes from participating in women’s sports in Kansas. As the bill notes, this does not mean that female-born students would be barred from competing in men’s sports, and it clarifies that the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) would be required to enforce the rules.

“I worry about how he’s going to interpret the bills that tell him he’s not human,” said Holly Terrill of Wichita, who spoke out against the bill at a hearing last week.

But some faith-based organizations like “Kansas Family Voice” have expressed support for the bill.

“Women deserve a level playing field for competition, which the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has continually denied them,” said Kansas Family Voice attorney Brittany Jones.

“It takes away opportunities for them to compete on a level playing field,” said Sen. Renee Erickson (R-Wichita).

Erickson is pushing this bill to become state law because she believes the bill is about fairness.

“Men have an advantage in competitive sports, and that’s why it doesn’t preclude a woman who wants to transition and compete in men’s sports,” Erickson added.

However, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas call it state-sponsored discrimination and argue that it is unconstitutional.

“This justification offered by lawmakers is not based on any evidence, and it is essentially an excuse to exclude transgender girls from participation,” said Sharon Brett, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas. “What they’re doing is just sending a very clear signal to the trans community that they don’t belong in the state of Kansas. This is a really damaging signal that the legislature is sending.

Erickson did not say whether they had enough votes to potentially override another governor’s veto if the bill went that far.

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