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Kansas, North Dakota governors veto anti-trans measures [UPDATE]
2021-04-22

This article shared 2730 times since Thu Apr 22, 2021
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Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum each vetoed anti-trans measures.

Kelly announced April 22 that she vetoed a proposed ban on transgender athletes from playing on school sports teams for girls and women, KMBC.com reported. Burgum vetoed a similar proposal April 21.

"This legislation sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender—who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide," Kelly said in a news release announcing the veto.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, Burgum's decision came after House Bill 1298 was approved by a 69-25 vote in the House and a more narrow 27-20 vote in the Senate last week. The bill needs a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override a veto—a threshold it met in the House, but not in the Senate.

"North Dakota today has a level playing field and fairness in girls' sports," Burgum said, crediting leadership and existing policies under the North Dakota High School Activities Association. "We have every confidence that they will continue to ensure a level playing field for the 27,000 students who participate in North Dakota high school sports."

Pro-LGBTQ+ groups such as the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, Tri-State Transgender and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Dakota praised Burgum's decision.

In a statement sent to Windy City Times. ACLU of North Dakota Campaigns Director Libby Skarin said, "House Bill 1298 was never about leveling the playing field for student athletes. It was obvious from the beginning that this discriminatory legislation was about creating solutions to problems that don't exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state. Nobody wins when politicians try to meddle in people's lives like this. Nobody wins when we try to codify discrimination like this. We're thrilled with Gov. Burgum's decision to veto this bill."

The governors' decisions came as many states consider anti-trans measures. For example, there are more than 20 proposed anti-LGBTQ laws currently in the Texas legislature—the most of any state in the country.


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