Good news week includes veto of transgender ban

It was a good news week this week, as in positive and hopeful. Top of the list was Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of legislation that bans transgender teenagers from participating in school sports.

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Opinion

April 23, 2021 - 1:58 PM

Spectators and participants celebrate during the annual LGBTQ pride parade in Asbury Park, Sunday, June 2, 2019.

It was a good news week this week, as in positive and hopeful.

Top of the list was Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of legislation that bans transgender teenagers from participating in school sports. 

It was the humane thing to do, and smart.

Susan Lynn, Register editor

With a wave a Republican-led legislatures set on limiting transgender rights, big business is warning they’ll take their business to less-hostile environments.

This week, the NCAA said it would consider withdrawing basketball tournaments scheduled for Wichita and Kansas City if Kansas passed such a measure. 

Other states are waking up to the reality of such backlash.

In Florida, the Republican-controlled legislature is abandoning the transgender ban after the NCAA gave it notice that states that don’t treat all student athletes with “dignity and respect” could be ineligible to host future championships.

Many argue the ban would only “legalize bullying” for transgender students. 

Gov. Kelly said it best: “This legislation sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide.”

“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us. Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”

“This bill would also undoubtedly harm our ability to attract and retain businesses. It would send a signal to prospective companies that Kansas is more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation, than strategic, pro-growth lawmaking.”

Former Gov. Jeff Colyer, and a candidate for the 2022 Republican nomination to regain the governorship, said Kelly’s veto was “shameful,”

“Our girls deserve the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” Colyer said.

We’re talking about high school sports here. Volleyball, cross country, tennis. 

“They are just children who want the opportunity to learn important skills of sportsmanship, competition, and teamwork with their peers,” explains Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

In Kansas, there are currently five known transgender student athletes.

In no case, have legislators been able to provide examples that these students pose a threat to their peers.

The bigger message with such legislation is that it categorically discriminates against the LGBTQ community, and in that sense affects a significant number of Kansans.

It’s also an invitation to expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, as is being played out in Connecticut.

Flat out, it’s a message of intolerance and I’m proud Gov. Kelly is standing up for marginalized people.

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