Genocide Watch

A New Kansas Bill Could Mean “Genital Inspection” of Children

On Wednesday, Kansas became the 20th state in the US to pass a law barring transgender players from women and girls sports. But this law may go further than others before it, advocates warn, as the lawmaker who introduced the bill initially evaded questions on whether it will require “genital inspection.”

House Bill 2238 was originally proposed three years ago, and Kansas’s Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, has vetoed it three times. This bill, she said, “won’t increase any test scores. It won’t help any kids read or write. It won’t help any teachers prepare our kids for the real world. Here’s what this bill will actually do: harm the mental health of our students.”

Additionally, there are only three documented trans students participating in sports in the entire state. Two will graduate this spring.

Republicans have obtained a supermajority in the Kansas legislature, allowing them to overturn Kelly’s veto. Ahead of the vote, a heated 90-minute House session took place in February to discuss the merits of the legislation. According to Buzzfeed News, Rep Barbara Wasinger, who introduced the bill, was questioned on how exactly the bill would be enforced, and she explained it would involve a “sports physical” for the athlete. When pressed on whether that would mean “genital inspection,” she said she could not remember.

Wasinger later issued a statement, saying, “Sports physicals are done for every athlete participating in schools sports. Every child in Kansas must provide a birth certificate to attend school in Kansas. Both should be enough for any student.”

On April 5, Gov Kelly’s veto was overturned and the bill passed the legislature. It is scheduled to come into effect on July 1. HB 2238 joins a recently passed anti-trans law dubbed the “Women’s Bill of Rights” that legally defines “sex” as “either male or female at birth.” In addition to barring trans people from single-sex spaces that align with their gender identity, it would prohibit the changing of gender markers on public documents, such as IDs.

In the wake of this most recent legislation, advocacy groups are raising the alarm on the bill’s vague wording. “The sports ban has never sincerely been about protecting women’s sports,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU Kansas. “Rather, it arises out of the same gender discrimination, stereotyping, and paternalism that has held back progress for cisgender women athletes for centuries, and will now open up all girls and women to potentially invasive examinations just to be able to participate.”

Don't forget to share:

Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO