Critics: Kansas bill on trans athletes will cause bullying

LGBTQ-rights advocates warned Kansas lawmakers their efforts to ban transgender students in girls' and women's school sports would be dangerous, and the state would be sued if such a law is enacted.


State News

February 24, 2021 - 9:14 AM

Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, said Senate Bill 208 restricting transgender athletes to teams based on gender at birth was another chapter in the Kansas Legislature’s relentless bullying of LGBTQ people. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — LGBTQ-rights advocates warned Kansas legislators Tuesday that their discussion of a proposed ban on transgender students in girls’ and women’s school sports would lead to bullying, and one group promised to sue the state if such a law is enacted.

The state Senate Education Committee had a hearing on a bill backed by some athletes, Republican lawmakers and conservative groups. It would apply to K-12 school and college sports. Supporters portrayed it as an attempt to ensure competition remains fair and that girls and woman aren’t deprived of scholarships and other opportunities in sports.

Idaho’s Republican-controlled Legislature enacted such a law last year. Lawmakers in at least 20 states are considering the idea after an executive order from Democratic President Joe Biden prohibiting discrimination against transgender students sparked a backlash. But in the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature, Republicans appear split over how aggressively to pursue the measure.

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