Monday, April 29 , 2024

CONTACT: Esmie Tseng, Communications Director, ACLU of Kansas, [email protected]

TOPEKA, KAN. –  The Kansas Legislature failed to override Gov. Kelly’s veto on SB 233 today, ensuring the extreme bill will not pass. The bill would have banned access to healthcare for transgender youth like similar legislation elsewhere in the country, but the Kansas bill went even further by attempting to censor a wide variety of conduct by state employees who offer support to transgender children.

In response, Micah Kubic, ACLU of Kansas Executive Director, shared the following:

“The threat of this bill was that it would have been one of the most extreme anti-trans laws in the country. By casting such a wide net in its assault on the rights of transgender minors and their families in this state, the legislature threatened to envelop countless medical professionals, mental health providers, teachers, social workers, counselors, and other state employees. It’s clear that Kansans across the state aren’t interested in attacking trans kids and their families, and the legislature should hear that message to focus on what helps the people of this state.

Blocking SB233 is a victory for transgender kids, their families, and advocates across the state. We are thrilled and relieved, and we remain in awe of this session’s incredible showing of strength, resilience, and solidarity in this community of transgender Kansans and allies. There is an accepting, kinder Kansas ahead of us, and we look forward to the day that the legislature moves on from these attempts at government intrusion into the doctor’s office, the classroom, and the home.”

While every form of treatment prohibited under bills like SB 233 can currently be accessed by non-transgender young people to treat other conditions, recent legislative proposals only seek to ban them for transgender youth. This session exposed the degree to which a large faction of Kansas legislators inherently misunderstand the actual process and realities of gender-affirming healthcare.  

In addition to singling out and banning transgender youth from accessing healthcare that would remain available to non-trans youth, SB233 prohibited “state employee[s]” who care for children from “promot[ing]” or “provid[ing]” the “use of social transitioning”–but failed to define these terms or, when a definition was provided, defined them so broadly that it would potentially prevent a wide variety of conduct, as simple as allowing youth to dress in a manner they desire or calling them by the pronouns both they and their parents support using. This bill could also have forced teachers or counselors to violate students’ First Amendment rights and parents’ constitutional rights and could punish state employees like teachers and school counselors for allowing students to practice their freedom of expression.  

Blocking SB233 from passing ensures that Kansas will remain one of the last states in the heartland and the geographic south with access to crucial healthcare for transgender minors, despite two years of ongoing legislative attacks in Kansas and on the national level.

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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at