Sunday, May 12

What is a lady? Kansas Legislature has the reply with Women’s Bill of Rights

The Kansas Legislature overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a invoice enacting a organic definition of the phrase “woman,” a measure that stops courts and authorities officers from redefining the time period to incorporate organic males who determine as girls.

The House on Thursday voted 84-40 and the Senate on Wednesday voted 28-12 to override the Democratic governor’s April 20 veto of Senate Bill 180, often called the Women’s Bill of Rights.

The measure, which now turns into legislation, defines an individual’s intercourse as their “biological sex, either male or female, at birth,” primarily based on their reproductive methods. The invoice additionally creates lodging for these born with Disorders of Sexual Development.

“By overriding the governor’s veto of the Women’s Bill of Rights, House Republicans stand with women and girls in Kansas and their rights to privacy, safety and dignity in single-sex spaces,” mentioned the Kansas House management in a Thursday assertion. “Trading one group’s rights for another’s is never okay.”

Celebrating the invoice’s passage was a coalition of right- and left-tilting girls’s teams that unveiled final 12 months mannequin laws for the Women’s Bill of Rights, which provides the Legislature authority to protect single-sex areas reminiscent of public restrooms, locker rooms, athletic groups, home violence shelters and dormitories.

“Today is a huge win for Kansas women!” mentioned Riley Gaines, All-American swimmer and spokeswoman for the right-of-center Independent Women’s Forum.

SEE ALSO: What is a lady?: Kansas governor units up override combat with Woman’s Bill of Rights veto

Ms. Gaines competed on the 2022 NCAA girls’s swimming championships towards Lia Thomas, who grew to become the primary male-born athlete to win an NCAA Division 1 girls’s sports title after swimming for 3 years on the University of Pennsylvania males’s staff.

“As a woman and a female athlete, I can attest firsthand to the importance of women having private spaces when safety and fairness are at risk,” mentioned Ms. Gaines. “Now that the Women’s Bill of Rights will be Kansas law, women have clarity that when they enter a space labeled for ‘women,’ biological men will not be inside.”

The override was decried by gender-identity activists who accused the Legislature of in search of to “erase” transgender individuals.

“KS just passed SB 180, dubbed the ‘women’s bill of rights,’” tweeted Katie Baylie, legislative director for Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “The kicker: It literally enumerates NO rights for women. Its purpose then? To exclude the trans community in the name of women. Absolutely disgusting.”

Democratic state Rep. John Alcala in contrast arguments for the invoice to these defending racial segregation earlier than the civil-rights period.

“It’s the same sayings,” mentioned Mr. Alcala, as reported by the Kansas Reflector. “I don’t want you in my bathroom, I don’t want you drinking out of my water fountain.”

The Legislature additionally overrode Ms. Kelly’s veto of a invoice to separate inmates by intercourse in jails, however fell quick on a vote to beat a veto of laws to create a civil reason behind motion towards physicians who carry out gender-transition surgical procedures on minors.

The payments have been a part of a cache of transgender-related payments focused for overrides by the Legislature after being vetoed final week by Ms. Kelly.

In her veto message, Ms. Kelly mentioned she was involved the payments would make the state much less enticing to companies and susceptible to “expensive and unnecessary lawsuits.”

Lauren Bone, coverage adviser for the feminist Women’s Liberation Front, cheered Kansas for establishing that “laws protecting all women cannot be changed outside of the democratic process.”

“WoLF fights to protect and restore the rights of women, such as lesbian and bisexual women who are disproportionately represented where female-only housing is most critical, especially in shelters and prisons,” Ms. Bone mentioned. “This historic bill is especially important for ensuring the safety and dignity of these marginalized populations.”

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