Kansas has become the first state to adopt a definition of gender with the passage of legislation that keeps men, no matter what gender they identify as, out of women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, and other intimate spaces.
It also separates inmates and restricts participation in sports according to one’s sex at birth.
The move came late in the afternoon of April 27, when the state Legislature voted to override Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of S.B. 180, which became known as the “Women’s Bill of Rights.”
Under it, a female is defined as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova.” A male is defined as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.”
It also defines gender words calling for “woman” and “girl” to be used to refer to human females and “man” and “boy” to refer to human males. It defines “mother” as a parent of the female sex and “father” as a parent of the male sex.
The override comes a little more than a week after Kelly vetoed the bill on April 20, after it was passed by a two-to-one margin between Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate.
Kelly said she vetoed the legislation because she was concerned it would open the state up to costly discrimination lawsuits, cause a loss of federal funding, and hurt the Sunflower State’s economy.
The bill garnered support from a range of groups, including one staunchly pro-choice women’s rights group.
“Victory!” wrote the Women’s Liberation Front (WOLF) on Twitter, upon news of the veto override.
The national women’s rights organization, which helped craft the legislation, wrote on its website, “This bill takes procedural steps to write into law common sense definitions that ensure the meaning of words like ‘woman’ and ‘mother’ aren’t corrupted by unelected bureaucrats intent on pushing gender ideology.”
The group stated that members sent more than 600 messages to Kansas lawmakers in support of the bill.
The legislation also had plenty of opposition, with critics calling it anti-trans and reminiscent of racial segregation in the 1960s.