Kansas Legislature Sustains Governor Laura Kelly’s Veto of Bill Stripping Away Access to Essential Health Care for Transgender Youth

by Cullen Peele

Today’s Vote Sparing the Dignity and Quality of Life for Countless Transgender Youth Will Create a Life-Saving Legacy Spearheaded By Kansas’ Pro-Equality Governor

Topeka, KS - Today, in a victory for transgender youth, the Kansas House voted to sustain Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of SB 233, which would have banned critical, medically necessary health care for transgender youth. The vote came hours after the Senate advanced an effort to override the veto. Today’s vote follows pleas from 200 medical and mental health professionals throughout Kansas warning of the dire consequences that would be imposed should the legislation have taken effect, along with Governor Kelly’s veto statement declaring that “if the legislature paid this much attention to the other 99.8% of students, we’d have the best schools on earth,”

“Today was a needed relief for many Kansas families who have been facing the unthinkable possibility of having to flee their communities and their state so that their child can get the health care they need,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “Despite their efforts to undermine the consensus of the medical community and Governor Kelly herself in years past, MAGA politicians’ attempt to subvert the governor’s veto failed. Make no mistake, today was a win for young Kansans – a win made possible by the unwavering voices of transgender youth, their families, communities across the state, and Governor Kelly, who remains committed to making Kansas a state for all.”

Other bills vetoed by Governor Kelly targeting transgender Kansans include:

  • SB 26: Similar to SB 233, prohibits transgender youth from receiving gender affirming care

  • SB 180: Applies a definition of gender discriminating against transgender individuals

  • SB 228: Requires individuals to use restrooms aligning with their gender assigned at birth

  • HB 2128: Forces misgendering in overnight and jail cell accommodations for transgender Kansans

  • HB 2238: Bans the participation of transgender student athletes in school sports

According to data published late last year, Americans would prefer that politicians either protect transgender people or not focus on transgender issues at all. Only 17% of Americans, and only 29% of Republicans, say politicians should focus on restricting gender-affirming care.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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