There are two new bills pending in the Kansas legislature.
Both will ban trans students in Kansas public schools from using the bathrooms that align with their gender. Trans girls will be forced to use the boys’ bathroom. Trans boys will be forced into the girls’.
As written, these bills will provide special “accommodations” through allowing trans kids to use “alternative” facilities. The backers of this bill call this “privacy,” but the actual consequences will be to “out” and isolate trans kids who are just trying to do what we all do: Go to the bathroom. Instead, they will be subject to additional isolation, harassment, bullying, and potential injury. These bills will also apply to adult college students, no matter their age, no matter their surgical status.
SB 513 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee. Since we are getting close to the end of the regular legislative session, the Senate Education Committee can no longer meet and hold hearings. Unless the bill is pulled from committee and assigned to a committee exempt from regular deadlines (unlikely), SB513 is dead for the year.
The House version of the bill, HB2737, is still very much alive. It was referred to the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, which is one of a handful of legislative committees that can hold hearings any time the committee chair pleases. That committee is always chaired by a radical-right, anti-LGBT conservative, and this year, that chair is none other than Representative Jan Pauls, the most vocally anti-LGBT legislator in Kansas’ history.