Governor Vetoes Bill Protecting Children From Transgender Procedures In State With GOP Supermajority
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks during the State of the State address at the Kansas State Capital on Jan. 10, 2024, in Topeka, Kansas.
Credit: Emily Curiel/The Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images.

Democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a bill on Friday that would have protected children from life-altering transgender surgeries, claiming that it trampled on parental rights. 

The Republican-backed bill would have banned surgical procedures like removing the breasts of girls who identify as boys and other genital-related surgeries. It also would have banned placing children on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, which have been linked to poor bone development, future fertility issues, and heart problems. 

“This divisive legislation targets a small group of Kansans by placing government mandates on them and dictating to parents how to best raise and care for their children. I do not believe that is a conservative value, and it’s certainly not a Kansas value,” Kelly said in a veto message. “To be clear, this legislation tramples parental rights.”

Republicans have supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, meaning that they could move to override Kelly’s veto. The legislation, Senate Bill 233, passed the House 80 to 40 and the Senate 26 to11. 

The legislation also would have authorized a civil cause of action against healthcare providers for providing such treatments, restricted the use of state money to back “gender transitioning,” and require professional discipline for doctors who did transgender procedures on kids. 

Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins said Republicans stood by ready to override the veto. 

“As we watch other states, nations, and organizations reverse course on these experimental procedures on children, Laura Kelly will most surely find herself on the wrong side of history with her reckless veto of this common-sense protection for Kansas minors,” he said. 


Last year, the Senate fell short of overriding Kelly’s veto of a similar bill that would have banned transgender procedures on children. The legislature was able to override her veto on a bill that defined men and women on the basis of their “biological reproductive system.” 

According to the law, a “female” is “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova” and a “mother” is” a parent of the female sex.” The law also stipulates that “woman” and “girl” refer to biological females. 

In recent years, over 20 states have enacted laws shielding children from transgender surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormone regimes. The groups have been opposed by leftist activists who claim the laws are discriminatory and violate the 14th Amendment.

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