Kansas Legislators Impose Sweeping Anti-Trans Bathroom Law
The new law applies to schools, locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. Republican legislators in Kansas…
The new law applies to schools, locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers.
Republican legislators in Kansas enacted possibly the most sweeping transgender bathroom law in the U.S. on Thursday, overriding the Democratic governor’s veto of the measure without having a clear idea of how their new law will be enforced.
The vote in the House was 84-40, giving supporters exactly the two-thirds majority they needed to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s action. The vote in the Senate on Wednesday was 28-12, and the new law will take effect July 1.
Seven other states have enacted laws preventing transgender people from using the restrooms associated with their gender identities, but most of them apply to schools. The Kansas law applies also to locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers.
The Kansas law is different than other states’ laws in that it legally defines male and female based on a person’s reproductive anatomy at birth and declares that “distinctions between the sexes” in bathrooms and other spaces serves “the important governmental objectives of protecting the health, safety and privacy.”
But the law doesn’t create a new crime, impose criminal penalties or fines for violations or even say specifically that a person has a right to sue over a transgender person using a facility aligned with their gender identity. Many supporters acknowledged before it passed that they hadn’t considered how it will be administered.