Kansas Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Gender-affirming Care for Minors

Before 2020, no state in the US had ever initiated legislation banning healthcare among transgender and non-binary citizens. Major health authorities and associations have safely prescribed cure alternatives and methods for decades. Democratic governor Laura Kelly has vetoed a proposed ban on the legislation SB 233 that bans gender-affirming care for minors. Having the bill through the Legislature enlists Kansas among 20 other states that are moving to curb gender-affirming care for minors. Kansans are thus ‘rightfully’ at odds with their politicians who lack empathy for the transgender population.

What is Gender-affirming care?

It’s care given especially to transgender persons, especially those who suffer from gender dysphoria( intense distress where one’s physical appearance does not reflect the gender they identify with). The care is patient-centered and tailored differently to every individual. The holistic healthcare approach involves procedures like a simple talk with the doctor at the office, non-surgical treatments, or surgical management. Discussions often involve the patient identifying with a preferred name, pronoun, or gender identity they prefer. No-surgical procedures include hormone replacement therapies speech therapy, or mental healthcare procedures. Surgical care involves processes like facial reconstructive surgery, chest surgery, hysterectomy, penectomy, and orchioctomy. Surgical practices are however rarely performed on minors.


The bill in question prohibits healthcare providers from treating any child whose gender appears inconsistent with their sex. Consequently, a civil cause of action will be taken against any medic caught providing such care. They thus cannot use a transgender or non-binary minor preferred pronoun if that does not match with the sex assigned to them at birth. Additionally, their license could be revoked if they continue with such proceedings. The bill introduces restrictions on using state funds such as Medicaid to conduct gender transitions. Arguably, some democrats argue that transition could involve non-monetary changes like change of speech, way of dressing, and so on. The bill further prohibits professional liability insurance for damages incurred during such treatments to children.

Kelly’s Statement on the Issue

In a showdown with the Republican state lawmakers, Kelly has labeled the ban as a measure to trample Kansan’s parental rights. She maintains that she has no desire to be a politician who stands between a parent and a child requiring medical attention of any form. The legislation, which she terms as divisive, places a government mandate on parents which dictates how they will raise their children. Kelly says that those are not conservative or Kansan values.

Supporters of the Bill

Those supporting the bill say that the ban aims at protecting Kansan children from harmful experiments and procedures. Senate president Ty Masterson says that Governor Kelly’s veto pen is a result of the radical left controlling her. Kansas House speaker and Wichita Republican Dan Hawkins says that Laura Kelly might eventually find herself on the wrong side of history as her reckless veto does not protect Kansan minors. Cathryn Oakley, the senior director of legal policy for the LGBT Human Rights campaign group applauds Kelly’s veto. Cathryn says that the bill targets vulnerable youth and tries to rile up anti-LGBTQ extremists. Banning a medical practice solely based on their sexual preference is discrimination. She adds that only doctors, patients, and families should enact such laws, and not politicians. Thus, legislators should do what is right by sustaining the veto.

Governor Kelly as an LGBTQ Activist

Other bills that Governor Kelly has vetoed in the past year targeting transgenders and non-binary in Kansas include:

  • SB 180 defines gender discrimination against transgender persons
  • SB 228 demands people use restrooms aligning with the gender given at birth
  • HB 2238 banning participation of transgender athletes in school sports events

At Queer Together, we say: Great work, Governor Kelly!!! We appreciate this one more step towards achieving equality for the LGBTQ population. The veto emphasizes on good leadership and empathy in the face of political divisiveness. We are proud to have Governor Kelly as an ally!

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