The governor of Kansas vetoed a bill on Thursday that would have banned males from participating in women’s sports.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, saying in a news release that the legislation “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” KMBC reported.
“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”
If Republicans wish to override Kelly’s veto, they will need 11 additional votes in the House and one additional vote in the Senate, according to The Kansas City Star.
“Governor Kelly has sided today with the NCAA, who can’t even ensure girls have decent locker rooms, and the radical Left, who are working to erase women,” Brittany Jones of the Family Policy Alliance said in a statement.
“Why would a family choose to move to Kansas if they knew their daughter’s opportunities were going to be stolen by a biological boy, no matter how hard that girl tried? If the Governor won’t stand up in this simple way, when will she stand up for girls?”
Lawmakers in at least 31 states, including Kansas, have introduced legislation to bar males from participating in female athletics, according to the American Principles Project.
A South Dakota bill banning males from girls’ and women’s sports was thrust into the national spotlight when Republican Gov. Kristi Noem refused to sign it without suggested changes.
Noem has pushed back against accusations that she caved to pressure from the NCAA and said the bill would subject South Dakota to lawsuits the state could not win.
The NCAA announced last week that it would pull competitions from states that pass legislation preventing males from participating in women’s sports.
“This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition,” the NCAA said in a statement. “Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect.”
Gov. Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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