Kansas lawmakers likely to rule against transgenders

Rep. Stephanie Byers of Wichita, the state's first transgender lawmaker, calls events in Kansas "heart-breaking."

By

State News

April 8, 2021 - 4:33 PM

Transgender Wichita middle school teacher Kendall Hawkins has advocated for better protections for transgender students in the district. Photo by STEPHAN BISAHA

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — LGBTQ-rights advocates in Kansas are relying on the state’s Democratic governor or the courts to block a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ or women’s school sports after conservatives on Thursday moved to push it through the GOP-controlled Legislature.

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 preventing discrimination against transgender students. Idaho enacted such a ban last year, and Republican governors in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have signed measures into law this year.

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