Kansas Legislators Pass Controversial Anti-Trans Bathroom Law

by Joshua Brown
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Republican lawmakers in Kansas just passed a law that will severely restrict how transgender people can use bathrooms. It is probably the most strict law of its kind in the US. Even though they were not sure of how they would enforce it, the House and Senate both voted to approve it on Thursday and Friday respectively by considerable margins. This new law takes effect from July 1st this year.

Eight different states have put laws in place that stop transgender people from using bathrooms that match their chosen gender identity. These rules are mostly for schools, but the Kansas law goes further by also including locker rooms, prisons, places to keep people safe who have been victims of domestic violence and rape crisis centers.

In Kansas, the law states that male and female genders are determined by a person’s reproductive body parts they have at birth. This is to make sure that only people of the same gender go in bathrooms and other spaces so they can be safe, healthy, and private. Recently, North Dakota passed a law that stops transgender adults and children from using the bathrooms, showers or dormitories of government-run colleges and prisons.

The law in Kansas does not make it a crime for transgender people to use a restroom that corresponds with the gender they identity as. People who support the law didn’t think at all about how this rule would be implemented.

This bill would make sure that only women can join certain state programs like for hunters and farmers. Transgender women will be blocked from joining these programs. It also means transgender people won’t be able to change the gender listed on their driver’s licenses without a lawsuit.

People who don’t like the new law say it is trying to get rid of transgender people and not recognize gender fluid, gender non-conforming and non-binary people. People against the bill also said that its lack of details will make it difficult for transgender people because they might be targeted or teased by others.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas (ACLU) is against a certain law because it allows what could be bad things to happen while its meaning is not clear. According to Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, this lack of clarity was done on purpose.

Republicans in the U.S. are trying to take away some rights from LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people. 21 states (not including Kansas) do not let transgender girls join girl sports teams and 14 states (which also doesn’t include Kansas) don’t allow gender-affirming care for young people under 18 years old.

People who support the Kansas bathroom bill think sharing restrooms and locker rooms with transgender women might not be safe for cisgender women and girls. Representative Brenda Landwehr from Wichita, who chairs the House health committee, agrees and believes safety is an important priority.

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