Kansas became the first state to pass a bill defining “woman” as someone who was born biologically female in a move that paves the way for banning transgender people from same-sex areas.
Lawmakers voted in favor of the Women’s Rights Bill on Thursday, which has already sparked fierce backlash from Kansas Senate Democrats, who called it “equally offensive” to trans and cisgender women.
But Republican Sen. Renee Ericksson, who led the bill, insisted it was a “very factual” and “objective” move.
The bill defines a female as someone “whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova” while “male” refers to anyone whose reproductive system “is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.”
It lays the groundwork for future laws banning K-12 girl and women transgender athletes, clubs, and college sports.
Kansas became the first state to pass a bill defining “woman” as someone born biologically female. The move was spearheaded by Republican Senator Renee Erickson, pictured
The bill received no Democratic support and was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, pictured, who had previously struck down two similar bills
It could also prevent transgender men and women from changing their birth certificates and driver’s licenses after transitioning, and they may be forced to use restrooms and other facilities associated with their gender assigned at birth.
Senators voted 26-10 to pass the bill although it received no Democratic support.
It had already been vetoed by Democratic Governor Laura Kelly who had reversed two previous proposals.
The question of what a “woman” is has been at the center of a fiery culture war in the United States, with trans activists arguing that its definition should include people who were born male but later identify as female.
Left-leaning politicians around the world have been thrown into knots by interviewers who have asked them to define what a “woman” is.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson drew ridicule last year when she answered the question by saying, “I’m not a biologist.”
Senator Erickson told the Washington Times, ‘What it does is simply codify the definition of sex into the law.
“It simply says that in existing statute or law, where there is a definition of sex, it means biological male and female as determined at birth. This is very factual, it is very objective.’
However she said the bill does not deal with ‘gender identity’.
“There are legitimate reasons to differentiate between the sexes with regards to prisons, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and other areas where safety and privacy are needed,” Erickson added.
‘This bill does not create any new rights or rights. It simply codifies the definition of sex as biological male and female in existing statutes and laws.
It has had several public advocates including former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines who has called for more protections for female athletes.
Gaines has spoken out against the presence of transgender athletes in the women’s locker room.
Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines has previously spoken out in favor of the bill, condemning the decision to allow transgender athletes into women’s locker rooms
Gaines, left, competed against transgender athlete Lia Thomas, right, a biological man who spent her first three years as a varsity swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team. She returned for her senior year as a swimmer, breaking records in the pool
The 23-year-old Swan against Lia Thomas, a biological man who spent his first three years as a varsity swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team.
She returned for her senior year as a swimmer, breaking records in the pool.
It comes after similar measures were considered in Oklahoma, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
South Carolina lawmakers are considering a joint resolution that would amend the state constitution to define sex as biological sex at birth.
Kansas Senate Democrats posted a lengthy Twitter thread last night condemning the news.
Defining what a woman is has become the focus of a fiery culture war, dividing women’s rights activists and trans activists. Pictured: LGBTQ+ activists celebrating first Kansas Pride Day Parade, June 2021
“In case you’re worried #ksleg politicians have made their own, fear not: This is part of a national push to charter biologically essentialist language so lawmakers have the basis to ban trans people from public spaces,” he added. wrote the spokesman.
However the move was welcomed by women’s rights activists.
Jennifer C. Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center’, told the Washington Times: ‘It codifies the current constitutional jurisprudence and the intermediate review standard that we have all relied on to protect women’s rights, but also to recognize that there are certain situations in which men and women can be separated without violating the constitution.
“Bathrooms, prisons, sports, domestic violence shelters, etc.”