Ah Kansas, my home state. You can always count on them to party like it’s 1959. No matter what Kansas does, no matter how stupid, you can set your watch by the fact that they will out-do themselves in spectacular fashion in quick fashion.
There are only two weeks left in session for the Kansas legislature, but they are looking to go out with a bang. Two new bills, Senate Bill 513 and House Bill 2737, have been introduced that target the transgender community and specifically declare open season on transgender students. The legislature would effectively encourage students to seek out and report any transgender student that they find in the “wrong bathroom” or locker room/changing room. If they do, and report the student, they will be authorized to sue the school for $2,500 per incident.
The essential aim of the legislation seems to be reaching for a broader range though. The language of the bill points towards a higher goal of setting a precedent in the state to define gender and completely physical and reliant on physical criteria. The legislation specifically states, “the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person’s chromosomes, and is identified at birth by a person’s anatomy.”
This would set a dangerous precedent that could gain a foothold for other states and champions of limiting transgender rights. If a piece of legislation gets passed that sets a legal definition on gender would soon create a snowball effect that promises to herald an onslaught of legislation.
A “slippery slope” as some conservatives like to say.
Opponents from Within
There are opponents though, including other republicans. Republicans like Stephanie Clayton (R), who attacked the bills and insisted that Kansas should be spending less time worry about bathrooms and more time worry about the state’s financial situation and simply keeping schools open.