On April 17, the ACLU of Kansas sent a letter to Governor Kelly outlining pertinent legislation that should be vetoed in support of civil liberties. Though wide-ranging in effects, we believe each of these bills curtails the rights of Kansans.

SB 209 eliminates the 3-day ballot collection period and would likely result in a number of ballots that would previously be legitimately counted to be instead discarded, throwing out the voice of Kansans.

HB 2313 and HB 2264 are anti-abortion bills that contradict the overwhelming will of the people from the August 2, 2023 constitutional amendment vote. We thank Governor Kelly for vetoing HB 2313 and ask her to also veto HB 2264, which creates mandates to promote state-sponsored misinformation and creates criminal penalties for failing to do so. We hope Governor Kelly will stand with Kansans and protect their right to receive medically accurate, unbiased information from their healthcare providers as they exercise their right to bodily autonomy.

In addition, there were a number of bills passed that target the trans community and infringe on their civil liberties. We ask Governor Kelly to veto these harmful bills.

SB 26 creates an effective ban on gender-affirming care in Kansas by threatening providers with civil action and loss of their professional licensure. Not only does this bill endanger trans children by keeping them from receiving a proven medical treatment for gender dysphoria, but it discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status, thereby infringing on the fundamental rights of Kansas children and their parents. 

SB 180 attempts to bar transgender and gender diverse individuals from single-sex spaces by codifying an inaccurate, unscientific, and woefully outdated definition of sex into state statute. The creation of this definition in state statute will have far-reaching and yet unexplored implications across multiple areas of law and administrative functioning.

HB 2138 would force school districts to adopt an outdated and scientifically inaccurate statewide definition of sex to create local policy, making them vulnerable to costly litigation and putting their federal funding at risk. As stated above, the courts have found that transgender individuals have as much of a right to single-sex spaces as cisgender individuals do. HB 2138 would infringe on that right in violation of the Kansas Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

SB 228 was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee to include the definition of sex from SB 180—a definition that is woefully inaccurate and dangerous to codify into state statute. While the ACLU of Kansas remains neutral on the other components of SB 228, the provision added by Senate Judiciary would require counties to categorize and house individuals based on the SB 180 definition of sex. This requirement means that all Kansas jails would be in violation of federal law, opening them up to litigation and the loss of federal funding.