Adam Kellog says the transgender community in Kansas is terrified by bills advancing through the Legislature this session that include efforts to criminalize gender-affirming care, ban transgender athletes from competing with cisgender athletes, and narrowly define what it means to be a woman.
Melissa Stiehler remembers her experience as the first girl to come out at her high school, back in 2006, at the height of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“It was incredibly lonely,” Stiehler said. “I started LGBT activism at that point in time, basically, to make other gay friends, so I knew I wasn’t alone.”
The Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature on Thursday approved a group of bills that would prohibit doctors from providing gender-affirming care to children, ban transgender girls from girls’ sports and legally define sex as the sex a person is assigned at birth.
The Kansas House passed parental rights legislation and a controversial transgender student athlete sports bill following months of debate and pushback from public education officials and advocates.
Lawmakers unrolled a new bill that would bar transgender women from female-only spaces under the assumption that biological women tend to be naturally weaker and more vulnerable to violence than men.
Kansas lawmakers are taking aim at gender-affirming care, with a bill trying to create penalties for doctors who carry out the treatments.
Kansas Democrats in the House said a hearing Monday, on an attempt to ban transgender athletes from participating in school sports, marked the start of “hate week,” a reference to planned discussions on multiple bills attacking the LGBTQ community.
The ACLU of Kansas is prepared to challenge the Kansas Legislature’s annual attacks on transgender children, voting rights and reproductive health care while searching for common ground on criminal justice reform and medical marijuana.
Transgender youth will once again be at the forefront of debate in the Kansas Legislature, with lawmakers pushing a bill that would criminalize gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, allowing few exceptions.
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