On April 28, Republican legislators in Kansas enacted what may be the most imposing anti-trans bathroom law in the country.
In doing so, the lawmakers overrode Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of the measurewithout having a clear idea of how their new law will be enforced, according to NBC News.
The Kansas law, effective July 1, is different than most other states' statutes in that it legally defines male and female based on a person's reproductive anatomy at birth and declares that "distinctions between the sexes" in restrooms and other spaces serves "the important governmental objectives of protecting the health, safety and privacy." However, Kansas' law doesn't create a new crime, impose criminal penalties or fines for violations or even say specifically that a person has a right to sue over a transgender person using a facility aligned with their gender identity.
Critics of the new law believe it is an attempt to legally erase transgender people while also refusing to recognize gender fluid, gender non-conforming and non-binary people. In a press release that Windy City Times received, National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence Senior Program Manager Amanda Gould said, "This lawand the hundreds of legislative attacks just like itis a direct affront to transgender and nonbinary individuals who are already disproportionately impacted by homelessness, domestic violence, sexual violence, and unemployment. Legislative attacks like these are rooted in harmful and dangerous stereotypes about trans people, particularly transgender women."