February 24, 2024

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Women’s Bill of Rights, defining male and female, passes Kansas House

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The Kansas House has followed the Senate by approving SB 180, the Women’s Bill of Rights, codifying into state law that an individual’s “sex” means an individual’s “sex” at birth, either male or female.

The measure passed each body with a veto-proof majority among those members present; 83-41 in the House after last month passing the Senate 26-11. The bill was authored by Sen. Renee Erickson of Wichita.

Among SB 180’s other provisions:

  •  A “female” would mean an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova;
  •  A “male” would mean an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female;
  •  “Woman” and “girl” would refer to human females, and “man” and “boy” would refer to human males;
  •  “Mother” would mean a parent of the female sex, and “father” would mean a parent of the male sex; and
  •  With respect to biological sex, separate accommodations are not inherently unequal.

The bill also stipulates any public school, state agency, department, or political subdivision to identify each individual as either male or female at birth in collected vital statistics for the purpose of complying with anti-discrimination laws or gathering accurate public health, crime, economic, or other data.

The legislation prohibits discrimination against males and females, but allows the law to distinguish between the two where such distinctions are substantially related to important governmental objectives.

In a joint statement, House Speaker Dan Hawkins, Speaker Pro Tem Blake Carpenter, and Majority Leader Chris Croft hailed the bill’s passage:

“The right to privacy, safety, and equal opportunity in a single-sex space is a basic protection that each female in Kansas deserves. However, this right is currently under threat by ideologues attempting to redefine common language in a manner that separates sex from biology therefore compromising the safety, privacy, and equal opportunity of females in Kansas.

Biological differences between the sexes leave females more physically vulnerable than males to specific forms of violence, including sexual violence. The Women’s Bill of Rights protects the right to privacy and safety for females in restrooms, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, prisons, locker rooms, and other areas where biology, safety, and/or privacy are involved.

The passage of SB 180, The Women’s Bill of Rights, in the Kansas House, preserves current Kansas statutes that ensure access to women-only spaces is limited to biological females by establishing a legal definition of sex-based terms for the implementation of these laws.

This legislation is essential in ensuring that decades of progress made by the Women’s Rights Movement is not hijacked and in order to protect the rights, safety, dignity and equal opportunity of biological women in our state.”

The bill now returns to the Senate for its review of House amendments before the legislation is sent to Governor Kelly.

 

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