Republican legislators in Kansas enacted what may be the most sweeping transgender bathroom law in the U.S.
The new law overrides the Democratic governor’s veto of the measure. Republican Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins, said he was thrilled with the vote and the override measure,
I’m just giddy.”
According to the AP,
At least eight 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 most other states’ laws in that it legally defines male and female based on the sex assigned at birth and declares that “distinctions between the sexes” in bathrooms and other spaces serves,
“the important governmental objectives” of protecting “health, safety and privacy.”
The new Kansas law will take effect July 1, 2023.
Jenna Bellemere, a 20-year-old transgender University of Kansas student says,
When I go out in public, like I’m at a restaurant or up on campus or whatever, and I need to go to the bathroom, there’s definitely going to be a voice in my head that says,
‘Am I going to get harassed for that?’
It just makes it so much more complicated and risky and unnecessarily difficult.”
Micah Kubic, the executive director of the ACLU of Kansas says,
The lack of clarity is by design because it allows them to disclaim the worst possible interpretation while also allowing for the worst possible outcome to happen.”
Critics of the new law says it’s attempting to legally erase trans people while also refusing to recognize gender fluid, gender non-conforming and non-binary people.
Earlier this week, North Dakota enacted a law that prohibits transgender children and adults from having access to bathrooms, locker rooms or showers in dormitories of state-run colleges and correctional facilities.
Meanwhile, the DOJ has sued to block Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth, marking the second time the Biden administration has initiated a lawsuit against anti-trans legislation.