The Kansas Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would prohibit biological males from using the women’s bathroom.
In a 28-12 vote, the state Senate approved Senate Bill 180, which would require individuals to use any public bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity. The state House passed the legislation in March and the bill now heads to Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk.
“Biological differences between the sexes leave females more physically vulnerable than males to specific forms of violence, including sexual violence,” Republican state House Speaker Dan Hawkins said in a statement after the bill passed the state House. “The Women’s Bill of Rights protects the right to privacy and safety for females in restrooms, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, prisons, locker rooms, and other areas where biology, safety, and/or privacy are involved.”
The bill would mandate that “sex” be defined as “biological sex” that is “either male or female, at birth.” Kelly is expected to veto the legislation, though the state legislature has the two-thirds majority needed to override the governor’s decision.
In 2022, Kelly vetoed legislation that would have required K-12 public school sports teams and college athletics to be separated on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity. The veto killed the bill for the 2022 legislative session but in 2023 the state legislature brought the legislation forward again, this time with enough support to override the governor’s decision.
“I will continue to stand up for you, protect your rights and call out and condemn any speech or behavior or veto any bill that aims to harm or discriminate against you,” Kelly said at a rally for Equality Kansas, an LGBT advocacy group.
State lawmakers are pushing to keep school sports and bathrooms separated on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity; Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said legislation that requires students to compete on the basis of biological sex is one of his top priorities in 2023. In Nebraska, the “Sports and Spaces Act,” introduced by Republican state Sen. Kathleen Kauth, would also prohibit the use of bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of biological sex.
“This will protect women’s spaces currently reserved for women and men’s spaces,” Republican state Rep. Brenda Landwehr told The Associated Press about SB 180.
Kelly’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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