The governors of the states of Kansas and North Dakota have vetoed bills that would prohibit transgender “girls” from playing sports with other girls at school. In several conservative states in the US, a Republican campaign is underway to restrict the rights of transgender people.
Similar bans are already in force in the states of Arkansas and Mississippi. Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, recently signed a decree to exclude “transgender girls” from exercising.
Laura Kelly, the Democratic governor of Kansas, announced Thursday night that she is blocking the Republican bill. Kelly follows her Republican North Dakota counterpart Doug Burgum. He vetoed a similar proposal on Wednesday.
,,This legislation sends a devastating signal that Kansas is not friendly to all children and their families, including those who are transgender,” governor Kelly said in a statement. According to her, it is better for the state to involve all pupils than to exclude those who may be different from us’.
Kelly also gave the reason for her veto the risk that companies might boycott Kansas if the Republican bill were passed. Burgum stated that in his state there are laws that ensure that the sport remains fair, and that in his state it has not yet happened that a transgender girl wants to participate in the sport of girls.
The Governor’s veto is likely to hold up, as there were not enough votes in that state’s Assembly for the bill to override a veto. In North Dakota, there were enough votes in the House of Commons, but not in the state Senate.
Republicans have introduced laws in several states to ban transgender girls from playing sports with the other girls, sometimes with the support of female athletes. Proponents of these bills say they want to protect fair competition in women’s sport. However, few trans women participate in women’s sport.
Civil rights organizations have already announced that they will challenge Republican bills if they are passed. According to them, they run counter to the United States Constitution.