Kansas Senate passes bill of rights defining 'woman' as biological female

The bill's sponsor said the act protects women's rights.

Published: February 26, 2023 11:44am

Updated: February 26, 2023 12:23pm

The Kansas Senate passed a woman's bill of rights to define a "woman" as a biological female under state law. 

The act passed 26-10 on Thursday without any Democratic support.

Republican Sen. Renee Erickson, who introduced the bill, told The Washington Times that her legislation "does not deal with gender identity," but "what this does is simply codify in the law the definition of sex."

She said the legislation protects women's rights.

"There are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to prisons, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and other areas where safety and privacy are needed," she said. "This bill does not create any new rights or entitlements. It simply codifies the definition of sex as biological male and female in existing statutes and laws."

The legislation is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House, but Democrat Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is not expected to sign the bill into law.

Kansas Senate Democrats called the bill "part of a national push to put biologically essentialist language in statute so that legislators have [a] basis to ban trans people from public spaces."

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