Kansas governor vetoes bill banning gender-affirming care to minors

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) vetoed a bill that would have banned gender-affirming care for minors in the Sunflower State Friday.

“This divisive legislation targets a small group of Kansans by placing government mandates on them and dictating to parents how to best raise and care for their children,” Kelly said in a veto message Friday. “I do not believe that is a conservative value, and it’s certainly not a Kansas value.”

Kelly said that the legislation “tramples parental rights” and that “the last place that I would want to be as a politician is between a parent and a child who needed medical care of any kind.”

“And, yet, that is exactly what this legislation does,” she continued.

The legislation, Substitute Bill for Senate Bill 233, would have banned gender-affirming care practices like surgery and hormone treatments for those under 18 in Kansas. Kelly vetoed similar legislation last year, which Republicans weren’t able to override.

Cathryn Oakley, the senior director of legal policy at the LGBTQ rights group Human Rights Campaign, praised Kelly’s veto in a statement in a press release. She said that the group continues “to thank Governor Kelly for seeing bills like SB 233 for what they really are: dangerous misinformation and attempts to target vulnerable youth for the sole purpose of riling up anti-LGBTQ+ extremists.”

“If any legislation seeks to ban best practice, medically necessary health care for no purpose other than the person receiving that care is transgender, that is discrimination – plain and simple,” Oakley said. “Doctors, patients, and families – not politicians – should be making health care decisions.”

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