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Horrific New Anti-Trans Legislature Bans Trans People From Single-Sex Spaces and Prohibits Gender Change on ID

by Carmella D'Acquisto

Today, Republican legislators in Kansas have imposed the most comprehensive transgender bathroom law in the entire country. The House vote was won 84-40, giving supporters the two-thirds majority they needed to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto, which was an attempt to slow down the law because there was not not a clear idea of how it would be enforced. 



I’m just giddy,” said Republican House Speaker Dan Hawkins, who calls this policy “the icing on the cake” of conservative policy wins in 2023, according to the Associated Press. 

As it stands, the law doesn’t impose penalties or fines for violations, and several supporters of the bill recognized that they didn’t know how it would be implemented. It’s unclear if the law specifically says that someone has a right to sue over a trans person using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. 

The broadness of the law poses (at least) two issues– first, it’s basically unenforceable. Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson said he expects transgender people to still use the facilities associated with their gender identities if they are “discreet about it.” and that he expects the police would intervene only if there’s some kind of harassment. Without any specific definition of what the “crime” really is, District Attorney Marc Bennett says the elected prosecutor “would not have enforcement authority.” 

While this vagueness sounds like it could help the situation, it could also make things a lot worse. Because it was written so broadly, it could be applicable to many different situations, scenarios, and organizations. Gov. Kelly’s office told the Associated Press that this could prevent transgender women from participating in state programs for women, including for hunters and farmers. Opposers of the new law also believe that its vagueness will lead to even more harassment for transgender people

In addition to the bathroom regulation, the law also states that driver’s licenses and other government IDs cannot have a different gender identity than the sex markers that were assigned at birth. According to the Intersex Society of North America, one in every 100 babies are born intersex. There are several ways to be intersex, but in general it means your sex is not strictly female or male at birth, which could be due to either chromosome or genital variations. Even if 1% of Kansans were born intersex, that leaves nearly 30,000 people with no right way to abide by this new law, which will take effect in July.

Kansas joins at least eight other states that have created laws that prevent transgender people from using the bathroom associated with their gender identity. Most of these laws apply to school bathrooms, but, according to AP, this new Kansas law will apply to locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers as well. 

For those saying that these “bathroom” laws protect women and children, they don’t. Republicans love to believe that trans women are trying to “trick” cis women, allowing them access in private spaces like bathrooms. All this does is put trans people in direct danger, especially trans women who, according to this law, will have to share a bathroom with cis men. Let’s be clear here, cis men have always harassed, assaulted, stalked and raped women, and they certainly have never needed a “disguise” to do so.

Want to give Representative Daniel Hawkins a piece of your mind? Here are his personal and professional phone numbers and email addresses.

Top photo: Oriel Frankie Ashcroft via Pexels

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