Last week, Kansas became the first state to adopt a definition of gender as part of the passage of legislation that keeps men out of women's locker rooms and bathrooms as well as other intimate spaces, regardless of what gender a man may identify as.
The measure also keeps participation in sports divided by what sex a person is at birth and also keeps male and female inmates separate.
On April 27, the state Legislature voted to overrule Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, who vetoed S.B. 180, which has become known as the "Women's Bill of Rights."
Under the bill, a female is defined as "an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova," while a male is defined as "an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female."
The measure also defines gender words for "woman" and "girl" to be used to refer to biological females and "man" and "boy" to refer to biological males. The term "mother" is defined as a parent of the female sex and "father" as a parent of the male sex.
The override comes after Kelly vetoed the bill on April 20 after it was passed by a slim margin of 2 to 1 between Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate.
Kelly cited liability concerns when she vetoed the bill claiming that it would expose the state to potentially costly discrimination lawsuits, and loss of federal funding, and could hurt the state's economy.
The controversial measure had gained support from a wide variety of groups including the Women's Liberation Front (WOLF), which wrote on Twitter after the veto override, "Victory!"
WOLF had helped draft the legislation and posted on its website, "This bill takes procedural steps to write into law common sense definitions that ensure the meaning of words like 'woman' and 'mother' aren't corrupted by unelected bureaucrats intent on pushing gender ideology."
The women's rights organization sent more than 600 messages to Kansas lawmakers in support of the measure.
Meanwhile, critics of the bill called it anti-trans and argued that it was reminiscent of racial segregation in the 1960s, according to a report by Zerohedge.
"It's the same sayings," state Rep. John Alcala (D-Topeka) said during a public hearing. "I don't want you in my bathroom. I don't want you drinking out of my water fountain. I don't want you over at my house. I don't want my kid hanging out with you."
A physician who testified against the bill, Beth Oller, said the name of the bill was incorrect and violated women's rights. "This is [in]no way a women's bill of rights. The bill does the opposite of protecting women; it causes harm."
According to Oller, physicians "for decades have agreed that there is no sufficient way to define what makes a woman."
"Gender is not binary but a spectrum of biological, mental, and emotional traits that exist along a continuum. Intersex people exist," Oller added.
The legislation does recognize intersexual people and says, "Individuals both with a medically verifiable diagnosis of disorder/differences in sex development are to be provided available federal and state legal protections."
The Kansas School Superintendent's Association, the United School Administration of Kansas, and Kansas Legal Services all also opposed the bill.
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