Lawmaker doesn’t want to share restroom with trans colleague

Republican Rep. Cheryl Helmer sent an email to a University of Kansas graduate student defending a bill to criminalize transgender treatment or surgery, and complained about having to share women's restrooms with a "huge" transgender colleague.


State News

April 26, 2022 - 3:50 PM

Rep. Cheryl Helmer, R-Mulvane, offers her comments on biology, bathroom usage and transgender athletes in response to an inquiry from a college student concerned about anti-transgender legislation. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas state lawmaker has complained publicly about having to share women’s restrooms with a “huge” transgender colleague whom she describes as a potential threat to young children who visit the Statehouse.

Republican state Rep. Cheryl Helmer on Tuesday stood firmly by her comments in an email to a University of Kansas graduate student while defending a bill she co-sponsored that would make it a felony for doctors to provide hormones or do gender transition surgery for children under 18. She also decried what she called the “in your face” approach to promoting transgender rights by Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Byers, the first elected transgender Kansas lawmaker.

The House speaker called Helmer’s comments “unfortunate” and Democrats condemned them. The state’s most visible LGBTQ rights lobbyist called for the House to censure Helmer.

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