The Kansas Senate on Thursday passed a bill to define a “woman” as a biological female for legal purposes within the state.
The bill passed 26 to 10 in the state Senate, with no support from any Democratic state senator, and faces an uphill battle to override a probable veto from the Democratic governor.
The bill states that a woman is a female, which the bill defines as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova.” Clarifies for statutory purposes that “woman” and “girl” refer to females.
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State Senator Renee Erickson (R) said the law aims to clarify definitions of what a woman is for same-sex facilities under state jurisdiction.
“What it does is it just codifies the definition of sex into the law,” Erickson told the
Washington Times. “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, this is very objective.
Kansas Senate Democrats
the bill as “targeting transkansans” while stating that it is “equally offensive to cisgender Kansans.” Democrats also contested the bill’s title as a “Women’s Bill of Rights,” arguing that it’s “part of a national push to put biologically essentialist language into the statute so lawmakers have the basis to ban trans people from public spaces”.
The bill is widely expected to be vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D), who has previously vetoed legislation regarding biological sex definitions. Last year, Kelly vetoed a bill that aimed to ban biological males from competing in women’s sports. The 2022 bill was overturned in the Senate but she failed to get the votes needed to override the House veto and died.
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Lawmakers in conservative states pushed for bills making biological sex the law of the land, while liberal states sided with transgender activists and opted for different policies. A California lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would require all K-12 schools to have a gender-neutral bathroom, arguing it will “ensure the well-being of our LGBTQ+ and non-binary students.”