KANSAS — Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed Senate Bill 55, an anti-transgender bill that bans transgender girls and women from participating in sports at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary level consistent with their gender identity. If the state legislature upholds the Governor’s veto, Kansas will be among the first states to fully reject anti-transgender legislation in this session.
Legislators have failed to provide examples of issues in their states to attempt to justify these attacks on transgender youth, laying bare the reality that they are fueled by discrimination and not supported by fact. Collegiate and professional sports organizations have had trans-inclusive policies for years without incident — in Kansas or anywhere else.
There are so far 254 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 124 directly targets transgender people and about half of those (66 bills) would, like SB 55, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David released the following statement in response to Gov. Laura Kelly vetoing Senate Bill 55:
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
The NCAA opposes efforts to limit participation of transgender students
The NCAA Board of Governors released a public letter making clear that it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.” Moreover, “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.” This puts the 30 states with discriminatory anti-transgender
A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern
These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — dangerous, anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.
Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters
A new PBS/NPR/Marist poll states that 67% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans, oppose the anti-transgender sports ban legislation proliferating across 30 states.
In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:
Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”
States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm
Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email email@example.com.