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Lawmakers in the Kansas Statehouse failed to override a veto on a bill to restrict transgender athletes.

TOPEKA — Republicans trying to push through a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports fell short Monday of overriding Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of the bill.

The tally was one vote shy of overriding in the Kansas Senate, which stopped progress before the House could take up the measure. That means transgender athletes can continue to compete on female sports teams at Kansas public schools and universities contingent on league rules on the matter.

Opponents of the bill had argued the ban targeted transgender students who already often face harassment.

“It is a piece of legislation that can be bullying and discriminatory to our children in Kansas,” Democratic Sen. Pat Pettey said during debate on the override.

Supporters argue transgender athletes hold an unfair advantage and the ban would preserve women’s athletics.

“It is our right and it is our responsibility to speak up,” Republican Sen. Renee Erickson said.

Democratic Sen. David Haley cast the deciding vote against an override in the Senate. He said he supports LGBTQ rights but also has a relative on a women’s college sports scholarship.

The vote was sitting one short of the 27 needed for an override in the Senate. After delaying his decision, Haley ultimately voted against the bill.

“This is probably one of the most difficult votes I’ve had to take,” Haley said, “because the issues are so well-reasoned on both sides.”

An override would have likely triggered a legal fight, as seen in Idaho.

The effort in Kansas mirrored a push in more than 30 other states.

Kelly had said the ban sent a message that Kansas was an unwelcoming and discriminatory state and that it could cost it athletic events and economic development projects.

“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said in a statement when vetoing the bill.

The governing board of the NCAA has warned that such laws could jeapordize major sports events, warning that the group only holds competitions in places that are “safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”

“We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants,” the group said last month.

Wichita is currently slated to host NCAA basketball championship events in 2022 and 2025.

Abigail Censky contributed to this report.

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.

(6) comments

WatchmanAnon

So the liberals control Hollywood, education, the media, Congress, the White House, and social justice movements, the CDC, mask mandates, covid passports, etc.

Now they want your gender. More importantly, they want to control your child's gender.

They're creating what they consider a "Utopian world."

They want you to be restricted to 4 pounds of red meat per year. Yes, per year in their Green New Deal. They want to tax you on the number of miles you drive. They want your guns. They've succeeded in blocking Christians from going to places of worship during this "pandemic." They've prevented you from comforting loved ones in the hospital and at funeral homes because of pandemic policies. They've cheered denying you the right to assemble or even shop, which has led to the destruction of portions of our economy. And they're not done.

When will they start openly wearing the brown shirts and jack boots?

Aim_High

Most of that happened on Trumps watch and was exacerbated by the "masks don't work" hoax... some people have been so brainwashed by conservative propaganda that even today they wholeheartedly believe that "masks do nothing." It's sad, really.

Thankfully Biden has been getting people to be vaccinated and deaths have dropped off dramatically since he won the popular and electoral vote in his historic landslide win over Dopey Donnie. I see gathering limits and other restrictions imposed during the Trump administration are going away too... conservatives have been telling me the masks were going to be permanent... liars...

And speaking of openly wearing brown shirts and jack boots, I saw a truck on I-25 yesterday with 4 flags waving from his truck... One was a Trump flag, 2 were blue lives matter flags, and a SWASTIKA flag... I have yet to see a Biden flag flown next to a nazi flag, but I've seen it several times with the Trump flag being flown in large groups of his supporters. Google "Trump flag swastika" and check out those images... Yikes!! And to be fair I googled "Biden flag swastika" and its all pictures of the same tree with a Biden sign on it that a Trump follower wrapped their nazi flag around. Pretty sad sack of ... Republicans.

WatchmanAnon

I'm congratulating you on your party's successes, Aim. Just think. You've personally had a hand in America being brought to its knees so your "utopian paradise" can replace the republic you despise. You have much to boast about. I honestly don't understand why you're disappointed or dissatisfied with the state of the country. Celebrate. It's a reflection of your values.

The Red Blooded Patriot

Ya... We will see how well this works out for women sports when the transgenders starts breaking all the records. All the men that say there women are going to break all the flippin records. Way to go you liberals, wheres that all are equal rights now. The men need to compete with the men and the women need to compete with the women in order to have true equal rights.

cropduster1

You'd think women would be in favor of no trannies in their sport but alas we've gone too far making sure nobody gets their poor feelings hurt.

Blueheeler

Oh those mean Republicans ,... and no liberal slant with this article.

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