Kansas Gov. Shoots Down Bill Banning Trans Athletes

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Alexander Pease Contributor
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Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed two Republican state congressional bills Friday: one that proposed a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ sports and another that would allow parents to challenge Kansas public education curriculum.

Gov. Kelly’s opposition to both bills comes as no surprise, as Gov. Kelly has refused to sign off on similar bills in the past, reported The Kansas City Star.

The bill Kelly blocked Friday is Senate Bill 160, “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” Last year, Kelly vetoed a virtually-identical state Senate bill that also would have banned transgender women from girls’ sports and called the legislation “divisive” in a 2021 statement. (RELATED: White House Refuses To Weigh In On Biological Men Competing In Women’s Sports)

Speaking on the more recent bill that passed both chambers before being overridden, Kelly said that the Republican state legislators behind the bill are “trying to score political points,” according to The New York Post.

The other legislation Gov. Kelly recently blocked is a GOP-backed bill that would have created a “parents’ bill of rights,” allowing Kansas parents the right to question the education of their children and review curriculum materials.

The parents’ rights bill “would have required school districts to consider parental challenges against books in school libraries or material taught in classrooms,” according to the Post. (RELATED: Parents Concerned Over Sexually Graphic Books Found In Kansas Middle School Class Library)

It would have mandated public school administrators to consider such complaints by requiring all school districts “to develop and adopt policies to guarantee” these rights, according to a Kansas House Conference Committee brief on the bill.

Republican Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson said that a gubernatorial override on the bill would suggest that Kelly views “parents as the enemy,” according to The Kansas Reflector.

The first-term Governor Kelly is up for re-election in November.