A bill that defines “woman” as someone ‘biologically born a female’ has passed the Kansas Senate, with supporters of the measure saying it will be used to preserve traditionally single-sex facilities and spaces for women, such as bathrooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters, and sports.
The measure – the Women’s Bill of Rights – was first put forward by a coalition of women’s groups from both side of the political spectrum and other states, including
“What this does is simply codify in the law the definition of sex,” Senator Renee Erickson(R), who spearheaded the proposal, told the Washington Times. “It simply says that in existing statute or law, where there is a definition of sex, it means biological male and female as determined at birth. That’s very factual, it’s very objective.”
“There are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to prisons, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and other areas where safety and privacy are needed,” she added.
The bill defines a female as someone ‘whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova’ while ‘male’ refers to anyone whose reproductive system ‘is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.’
The measure is being hailed by women’s groups as a foundation for laws which would ensure that only biological females can compete in sports for women and girls.
Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines is an outspoken supporter of such measures, and she has testified on women’s concerns regarding the presence of male-born transgender athletes in women’s locker rooms.
📺 NCAA swimmers, @Riley_Gaines_ & ICONS Co-Founder @SmithMarshi applaud KS Senate passage of the Women’s Bill of Rights
👉why it’s crucial to clearly define “sex” & “women” in the law as the Biden Admin rewrites Title IX
👉Read here: https://t.co/0bkFlr91ES pic.twitter.com/SJKvWhTYql
— ICONS Women (@icons_women) February 28, 2023
This video speaks for itself.‼️When female athletes questioned having to share a locker room with a biological male, they were gaslit into thinking they should seek counseling.@Riley_Gaines_ shares an emotional testimony on Capitol Hill on National Girls & Women in Sports Day. pic.twitter.com/Rhs97Fu8qy
— Independent Women's Forum (@IWF) February 1, 2023
While the bill has passed the Kansas Senate, the Democratic Governor is expected to use a veto to prevent it becoming law. While the measure passed the chamber 26-10, it received no Democratic support, as expected.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The bill is widely expected to be vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D), who has previously vetoed legislation regarding biological sex definitions. Last year, Kelly vetoed a bill that aimed to ban biological males from competing in women’s sports. The 2022 bill was overturned in the Senate but failed to get the required votes to override the veto in the House and died.
e or law, where there is a definition of sex, it means biological male and female as determined at birth. That’s very factual, it’s very objective.’
However she said the bill does not deal with ‘gender identity.’
‘There are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to prisons, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and other areas where safety and privacy are needed,’ Erickson added.
‘This bill does not create any new rights or entitlements. It simply codifies the definition of sex as biological male and female in existing statutes and laws.’
It has had several public advocates including former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines who has called for greater protections of female athletes.
Gaines has spoken out against the presence of transgender athletes in women’s locker room