On Thursday, Republican legislators in Kansas passed what might be the most profound transgender restroom law in the country, overriding the Democratic governor’s veto of the bill without knowing how it will be implemented.
The House vote was 84-40, giving supporters the two-thirds majority required to overrule Gov. Laura Kelly’s action. The Senate voted 28-12 on Wednesday, and the new law will go into force on July 1.
At least eight other states have passed legislation prohibiting transgender persons from using toilets that correspond to their gender identification, although the majority of these apply only to schools. The Kansas statute covers locker rooms, jails, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers as well.
The Kansas law is unique in that it legally defines male and female based on the sex assigned at birth and declares that “distinctions between the sexes” in bathrooms and other public spaces serve “the important governmental objectives” of protecting “health, safety, and privacy.” North Dakota passed legislation earlier this week prohibiting transgender children and adults from using toilets, locker rooms, or showers at state-run universities and correctional facilities.