cloudy.png
Saturday July 2nd, 2022 7:03AM

Including young kids likely to sink Kansas trans sports ban

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas appears unlikely to join other states this year in keeping transgender athletes from competing in girls' and women's school sports, partly because conservative state lawmakers want the ban to apply to elementary school students.

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved a proposed ban early Saturday with solid majorities in both chambers — but not the two-thirds needed to override an almost-certain veto from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. She rejected a similar bill last year, saying it would send “a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families.”

Republicans nationwide have pushed the issue to appeal to a broad swath of voters, framing it as fairness in competition and access to scholarships. At least 12 other states have enacted such laws, including Arizona and Oklahoma this week. Supporters in Kansas believe the issue grew even more compelling for athletes and their families with the University of Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas recently becoming the NCAA's first transgender champion in women’s swimming.

But enough GOP lawmakers in Kansas keep breaking with Republican colleagues that LGBTQ-rights advocates probably will prevail for a second consecutive year. Several of those dissident Republicans said having a ban apply as early as kindergarten is a problem for them. State Sen. John Doll, a western Kansas Republican, has voted both ways and was a “no” early Saturday because he wasn't able to persuade colleagues last month to exempt elementary school students from the ban.

“To be honest, I don't know where I'm at with it,” he said Saturday of a ban overall. “When it comes to a veto, I can't say that I would vote to override the veto.”

The vote Friday night in the House was 74-39, leaving supporters 10 votes short of a two-thirds majority. While a dozen of the House’s 125 members were absent, at least five were likely to vote “no.”

The state Senate's vote early Saturday was 25-13 and sent the bill to Kelly. But supporters were two votes short of a two-thirds majority, and the Republicans who were absent have split over the proposal in the past.

“The focus now on, again, the very, very young kids who have no concept of ‘transgender’ — it just didn't feel appropriate,” said state Sen. Brenda Dietrich, a Topeka Republican and a former local school district superintendent who has consistently voted “no.”

Besides attacking proposed bans as anti-LGBTQ discrimination, critics across the U.S. have noted there have been relatively few transgender athletes. In Kansas, the state association overseeing extracurricular activities for grades 7 through 12 says it has been notified of only six or seven transgender athletes in those grades.

Kansas opponents of a ban have accused backers of picking on young children and suggested that schools could be forced to inspect children's genitals to settle disputes about their participation.

State Rep. Heather Meyer, an Overland Park Democrat, said Friday the bill told transgender children that “they are not valid.” After speaking about her transgender 12-year-old son in sixth grade and their transgender best friend, she wiped her eyes with a tissue as the debate continued.

“This is my child, and I’m going to stand up for them. I’m going to stand up for their friends. I’m going to stand up for their peers,” Meyer said. “This is just wrong.”

Supporters of the bill argued during debates Friday night and into early Saturday that schools could rely on birth certificates and other language to settle disputes.

They also argued that children are entering puberty at younger ages, making the unfair advantages of transgender girls appear earlier.

“It needs to be taken care so things don't go out of hand,” said Rep. Barbara Wasinger, another Republican from western Kansas.

The bill’s supporters said they are showing support for young girls who want to play sports and older girls who strive for college scholarships. Supporters of a proposed ban often refer to transgender athletes as “biological” boys, men or males.

“It makes me sad that the women in the room don’t realize that we biological women are being bullied,” said Republican Rep. Tatum Lee, also from western Kansas. “We do everything we can to protect those being bullied, and I feel bullied.”

But Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Byers, of Wichita, the state's first and only elected transgender lawmaker, said that when she returns home, "There will be families that come to my porch and look at me and say, ‘Can you tell us that this is going to be OK?’”

“I promise you, your constituents will write ME, and those letters start with, ‘I would tell my representative, but they won’t listen,’” she added.

___

Follow John Hanna on Twitter: twitter.com/apjdhanna

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, College Sports
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Including young kids likely to sink Kansas trans sports ban
Kansas appears unlikely to join other states this year in banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s school sports
5:15AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Hong Kong urges testing, Shanghai struggles under lockdown
Hong Kong authorities are asking the entire population of more than 7.4 million to voluntarily test themselves for COVID-19 for three days in a row starting next week
4:37AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Pope arrives in Malta; Migration, Ukraine war top his agenda
Pope Francis is in to Malta this weekend, aiming to draw attention to Europe’s migration challenge that has only become more stark with the war in Ukraine
4:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ducks snap 11-game skid, beat Coyotes 5-0
Isac Lundestrom had two goals and an assist, Anthony Stolarz made 22 saves for his third shutout of the season and the Anaheim Ducks snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes
1:25AM ( 4 hours ago )
UConn-South Carolina title tilt packs plenty of star power
The South Carolina Gamecocks have had the top spot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll the entire season
12:46AM ( 4 hours ago )
UConn tops Stanford 63-58, advances to NCAA title game
Paige Bueckers scored 14 points and UConn advanced to the national championship game with a 63-58 win over defending champion Stanford
12:44AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Russia aims Ukraine disinformation at Spanish speakers
Disinformation about Russia's invasion of Ukraine is surging in Spanish, as stories crafted for a Latin American audience gets a boost from the Kremlin
12:58AM ( 4 hours ago )
Jan. 6 panel puts Garland in 'precarious' spot, ups pressure
The lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are increasingly going public with critical statements, court filings and more to deliver a blunt message to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice:
12:33AM ( 4 hours ago )
House panel's possible options for alleging Trump 1/6 crimes
The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump last year of inciting the Capitol insurrection
12:22AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP National News
Cuomo files suit against NY ethics board over book profits
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against the state’s ethics commission
10:19PM ( 7 hours ago )
Report criticizes Virginia's response to snowy I-95 gridlock
Virginia state agencies responding to a severe snowstorm that stranded hundreds of motorists along Interstate 95 in January collectively lost what a report called “situational awareness” amid the growing gridlock
8:54PM ( 8 hours ago )
Jury gets case of 4 men charged in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot
Jurors have heard closing arguments and will begin deliberations Monday in the trial of four men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
7:45PM ( 9 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Greene sues to stop challenge to her reelection eligibility
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has filed a lawsuit challenging a state law that a group of voters is using to challenge her eligibility to run for reelection
9:59PM ( 7 hours ago )
Palin files paperwork to run in Alaska US House race
Sarah Palin has filed paperwork to join a field of at least 40 candidates vying for Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat
9:18PM ( 8 hours ago )
Federal tax probe into Biden's son, Hunter, moves forward
A federal grand jury has heard testimony in recent months about Hunter Biden’s income and payments he received while serving on the board of a Ukraine energy company
6:23PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Iowa court upholds gender identity discrimination case
The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld much of a 2019 jury verdict that found the state discriminated against a transgender prison employee by denying him the use of men’s restrooms and locker rooms
3:20PM ( 14 hours ago )
Journalists impeded, not muzzled, by Russian reporting rules
New restrictions placed on journalists in Russia have impeded but not muzzled reporting about the country and its war in Ukraine
2:48PM ( 14 hours ago )
Lamb revives gun incident to attack Fetterman in Senate race
Conor Lamb is accusing rival John Fetterman in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate of skipping candidate forums to avoid talking about a 2013 incident in which he confronted a Black man, shotgun in hand, because he suspected the man was involved in gunfire nearby
2:15PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Coach K on an NCAA revamp: 'Time to look at the whole thing'
The sport Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is leaving is run by an organization he doesn’t much recognize anymore
5:26PM ( 12 hours ago )
Column: NIT joins other sports tradition in fading away
With all eyes focused on the Final Four, it's doubtful that many noticed the passing of a storied tradition in college basketball
4:41PM ( 12 hours ago )
Kentucky's Tshiebwe named AP men's college player of year
Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky is The Associated Press men's college basketball player of the year
4:36PM ( 12 hours ago )
College Sports
Hong Kong urges testing, Shanghai struggles under lockdown
Hong Kong authorities are asking the entire population of more than 7.4 million to voluntarily test themselves for COVID-19 for three days in a row starting next week
4:37AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Pope arrives in Malta; Migration, Ukraine war top his agenda
Pope Francis is in to Malta this weekend, aiming to draw attention to Europe’s migration challenge that has only become more stark with the war in Ukraine
4:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
Generations sing to Joni Mitchell in pre-Grammys tribute
Generations of artists paid tribute to the five-decade career of Joni Mitchell, who was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year at a gala two days before the Grammys
3:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Ramadan kicks off in much of Middle East amid soaring prices
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan — when the faithful fast from dawn to dusk — has begun in much of the Middle East, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent energy and food prices soaring
3:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
Pope heads to Malta; Migration, Ukraine war top his agenda
Pope Francis is going to Malta this weekend, aiming to draw attention to Europe’s migration challenge that has only become more stark with the war in Ukraine
3:29AM ( 1 hour ago )