Kansas bill would criminalize medical treatment for transgender youth

A bill introduced Wednesday in Kansas’s state legislature would make it a felony for doctors to provide gender affirmation surgery or other treatments to transgender youth wishing to transition.

a statue in front of a building: the kansas state capitol building

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the kansas state capitol building

The Associated Press reported that the bill was introduced by four Republican state lawmakers in response to an executive order signed by President Biden barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public school sports.

The bill is reportedly unlikely to become law, with a Republican committee chair telling the AP that the committee to which the bill was assigned has other priorities.

State Rep. Randy Garber (R), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told the AP that minors were “too young to be making those decisions” regarding their gender identity.

“They probably know they want to get drunk, too, but we don’t let them drink alcohol, do we? Or smoke, or whatever,” he told the news service.

The bill’s introduction Wednesday garnered immediate criticism from Democrats and LGBT groups in the state, including Equality Kansas, which accused the statehouse Republicans of targeting LGBT children after their efforts to block gay marriage failed.

“Ever since [same-sex] marriage was declared constitutional, they’ve changed their targets,” Tom Witt, the group’s director, told the AP. “Instead of going after grownups, almost every single one of these bills across the country has been targeted at little kids.”

Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office stating that “[C]hildren should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.” The order indicates that federally-funded schools will be required to halt any practices seen as discriminatory to transgender students.

“It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” read the order.

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