FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2023
CONTACT: Esmie Tseng, Communications Director, [email protected]
Topeka, Kan. – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed four anti-trans bills Thursday in a sweeping move of allyship with the LGBTQ+ community and with transgender Kansans. The bills included a discriminatory, broad ban of transgender individuals from bathrooms and other facilities as well as a separate ban on life-saving, evidence-based gender-affirming care for minors.
“We sincerely commend and thank Governor Kelly for consistently showing up and fulfilling her initial promise of allyship to the LGBTQ+ community when she took office in her first term,” said Micah Kubic, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “Our hope is that every legislator can, when the choice comes, think carefully for themselves about the civil liberties at stake and show the political courage to support the governor’s vetoes.”
Courts across the country have recognized that bans on gender-affirming care violate equal protection and due process rights of adolescents, their parents, and their doctors, while also discriminating on the basis of sex and transgender status.
“Beyond the clear constitutional violations, this bill sets a terrifying precedent,” said D.C. Hiegert, LGBTQ+ Fellow of the ACLU of Kansas in testimony submitted to the legislature. “Not only does it take away parents’ rights to make decisions about their children’s medical care—a right that some in this room have vehemently defended in other contexts—but it bars adults aged 18-21 from making their own medical decisions. Just seven months ago, Kansans made it very clear that they do not want politicians infringing on their right to determine what healthcare is best for them.”
“This legislative session in Kansas was unprecedented in the number of attacks on LGBTQ+ Kansans by extremists in the statehouse,” said Aileen Berquist, Policy Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “The ACLU of Kansas remains resolute in our commitment to defending our community and in our solidarity with all Kansans who support fairness, justice, and equality in our state."
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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 www.aclukansas.org.