Kansas has made history by becoming the first state in the US to pass a bill defining gender based on biological sex at birth. The legislation, known as S.B. 180 or the “Women’s Bill of Rights,” restricts men, regardless of gender identity, from using women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, sports, and other intimate spaces. It also separates inmates and restricts participation in sports by biological sex.
The bill passed after the state legislature voted to override Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of the legislation. Under the new law, a female is defined as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova,” and a male is defined as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.” It also defines gender words, requiring “woman” and “girl” to be used to refer to human females and “man” and “boy” to refer to human males. Additionally, “mother” is defined as a parent of the female sex, and “father” is a parent of the male sex.
The bill had supporters from both sides of the aisle, with some women’s rights groups celebrating the veto override. However, opponents called the bill anti-trans and likened it to racial segregation. The legislation also faced criticism for not being inclusive of ‘intersex’ people. The bill does include a provision recognizing individuals with medically verifiable diagnoses of disorders/differences in sex development.
There have been reports of assaults on women by men identifying as women, raising concerns about safety in female spaces. A recent incident in Ontario, Canada, involved a man who identified as a transgender woman sexually assaulting a biological woman at a women’s shelter. There are also ongoing civil rights lawsuits filed by female inmates who reported being raped by men identifying as women.
Transgender prisoner Ramel Blount last year pled guilty to raping a female prisoner while she was taking a shower. Blount, a biological male who goes by the first name “Diamond,” was housed with women at New York’s Rikers Island prison.
33-year-old Blount admitted to grabbing the female inmate by the neck and holding her down against her will while raping her, stated the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office.
Similar bills as Kansas’s “Women’s Bill of Rights” are pending in other states, including in Oklahoma and Montana.
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