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Kansas governor signals she will veto bill banning transgender girls from school sports

Topeka, Kansas - January 14, 2019: Democrat Governor Laura Kelly delivers her inaugural speech is front of the steps of the Kansas State Capitol building
Topeka, Kansas - January 14, 2019: Democrat Governor Laura Kelly delivers her inaugural speech is front of the steps of the Kansas State Capitol buildingPhoto: Shutterstock

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has signaled that she will veto a bill passed by the Republican-dominated legislature that would bar transgender girls from playing school sports.

“I can tell you that we know from past experience not only what this will do, how it will make these kids feel, and how it might exacerbate some of the mental health issues that we’re already seeing,” she said.

Related: Kansas Republican disavows anti-LGBTQ bill after being publicly shamed by his queer daughter

“But, we also know just from a business sense how we don’t want to go down that road,” she continued. “We know that when, for instance, North Carolina passed an anti-trans bill a few years ago, overnight they lost $400 million in convention business. It probably totaled up into the billions of dollars of businesses who decided not to make new capital investments in their state because of that.”

“Kansas doesn’t need to be passing any sorts of anti-progressive or really regressive legislation.”

Kelly did not definitively announce that she will veto the bill, saying that she hasn’t read it. She did point reporters to the executive order issued by her office that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people as an example of where she stands on the issue in general.

“We didn’t bring in a record amount of capital investment to Kansas by antagonizing businesses,” Kelly said. “I’m going to support bills that bring jobs to Kansas and oppose bills that drive businesses away.”

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