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As Kansas nears gender care ban, students push university to advocate for trans

Started by Jessica_Rose, March 29, 2024, 06:01:30 AM

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As Kansas nears gender care ban, students push university to advocate for trans youth

Story by JOHN HANNA (28 March 2024)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — With Kansas poised to ban gender-affirming care for minors, college students are trying to counter Republican efforts to roll back transgender rights by pushing the state's largest university to declare itself a haven for trans youth.

The GOP-controlled Legislature approved its proposed ban on puberty blockers, hormone treatments and surgeries for minors Wednesday, apparently with the two-thirds majorities in both chambers needed to override an expected veto from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. Kansas would join 24 other states in banning or restricting gender-affirming care for minors, the latest being Wyoming last week.

But the week before — when a ban already appeared likely — the Student Senate on the University of Kansas' main campus overwhelmingly approved a proposal to add transgender rights policies to the school's code of student rights. The proposal asks administrators to affirm the students' right "to determine their own identities," direct staff to use their preferred names and pronouns and commit to updating student records to reflect their gender identities.

"The people in charge have made the decision to support some things that are really cruel and unnecessary and unjustifiable," Jenna Bellemere, a 21-year-old transgender senior, said of lawmakers. "It's students and the younger generation who have to kind of step up and say, no, we don't think that that's OK and fight back against it."

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