Kansas legislature authorizes opt-outs for LGBTQ materials in schools

The Kansas legislature on Thursday passed a bill aimed at helping parents ban their children with LGBTQ materials from public school classes, as a Democratic lawmaker whose vote was critical to banning transgender female athletes from the girls’ and women’s sport was exposed to demands for his resignation.

The Republican-controlled Kansas House voted 76 to 46 in favor of a “parental rights” measure that would allow a parent to place their child in an alternative to a public K-12 school lesson or activity that “the compromises parents’ sincere beliefs and values ​​or principles.” The GOP-dominated Senate approved the measure last week, meaning it goes alongside Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

“If there’s a family that’s being denied their rights, that’s something we have to address,” said Republican Rep. Susan Estes of Wichita.


While the measure includes lessons and materials that address race and possibly even evolution, it is also consistent with a push by Republicans in state buildings across the US to roll back LGBTQ rights, particularly transgender rights. State Rep. Heather Meyer, a Kansas City-area Democrat, called the measure a “perfect vehicle” for anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

“We can see what has been done in other states across the country where they have used this as a vehicle to attack the LGBTQ community,” said Meyer, who is bisexual and has a 13-year-old transgender son.

The Legislature approved a sweeping bathroom bill Tuesday and voted Wednesday to override Kelly’s veto on the transgender athlete measure. Kansas is the 20th state to enact such a sports ban, and its law applies to club and school sports from kindergarten through college starting July 1.

GOP lawmakers also hoped to pass legislation Thursday that would require Kansas public schools to bar transgender girls from staying with cis girls and transgender boys from staying with cis boys on overnight school trips.

GOP Conservatives had also not given up on passing legislation aimed at ending gender-affirming childcare.

Kelly last year vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for parents to try to remove class or library materials. Supporters of this year’s bill still lacked the two-thirds majority in both chambers needed to override a veto.

Democratic Kansas Rep. Marvin Robinson (left) has come under fire after voting with fellow Republicans to override Gov. Laura Kelly's veto on a ban on biological males in girls' and women's sports.

Democratic Kansas Rep. Marvin Robinson (left) has come under fire after voting with fellow Republicans to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto on a ban on biological males in girls’ and women’s sports.

“What we heard on committee was parents who went not only to their teacher but also to their principal and up in their school district and didn’t address their concerns,” Estes said.

Meanwhile, conservative Republicans were able to overturn Kelly’s third veto of a transgender athlete law in three years because a single Democrat, Kansas City freshman Marvin Robinson, voted yes.

That vote in Kansas came a day before President Joe Biden’s administration announced a proposal to block schools and colleges from banning transgender athletes outright but allow them to set some limits to maintain fairness.

Representing a heavily Democratic district, Robinson replaced a resigning lawmaker who voted against lifting Kelly’s veto in 2022. Kansas Young Democrats and the state Democratic Party’s LGBTQ+ and Progressive caucuses called for his resignation after Wednesday’s vote.

Robinson also supported the parental rights measure. Kansas House Democratic Chairman Vic Miller said he would be happy to see Robinson step down.

“Right now, he’s more in tune with the other party than ours,” Miller said. “He ran as a Democrat, but he doesn’t appear to be serving as a Democrat.”

Robinson told a conservative Kansas City radio talk show Thursday morning that he thought he was “on the same page” as Kelly because she aired a television commercial during her re-election campaign. In that ad, Kelly looked into the camera and said, “Obviously men shouldn’t play girls’ sports. OK, we all agree on that.”

At the time, Republicans accused Kelly of lying about her record. LGBTQ rights advocates interpreted her comment to mean that because transgender girls and women are female, men playing girl sports are not a problem.


Robinson told The Associated Press that last year no one in the Democratic Party told him he would be expected to vote against bills targeting transgender athletes. He also said a fellow Democrat, who he declined to name, “told me to die.”

He dismissed criticism that his voice was “harming people’s children.”

“Who could mistreat someone and look down on them?” he said. “You know, everyone is God’s creation.”

He told the radio host that friends told him, “Man, you’re up there with a bunch of demons.”

Meyer said “absolutely none” of Robinson’s Democrats told him to die after the vote.


“We care about mental health and we care about our colleagues, even if we disagree,” Meyer said.

#Kansas #legislature #authorizes #optouts #LGBTQ #materials #schools
More From Shayari.Page

Leave a Comment