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Minutes for SB180 - Committee on Health and Human Services

Short Title

Establishing the women's bill of rights to provide a meaning of biological sex for purposes of statutory construction.

Minutes Content for Mon, Mar 6, 2023

Beth Oller, MD, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 1). Dr. Oller takes issue with the title of the bill. This is no way a women's bill of rights. The bill does the opposite of protecting women, it causes harm. Physicians for decades have agreed that there is no sufficient way to define what makes a woman. Gender is not binary but is a spectrum of biological, mental and emotional traits that exist along a continuum. Sex, which refers to one's biological characteristics spectrum also exists as spectrum, because intersex people exist. Sex and gender tend to be bimodal, but not binary. Dr. Oller noted that intersex is not a social construct or a gender identity. It is a biological configuration where a body has both male and female features. Examples of the various chromosomal combinations were provided. Dr. Oller concluded that while one can attempt to make a so-called standard for legal classification, you cannot legislate away science.

Dr. Oller responded to questions from the committee.

Lara Crow, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 2). A personal history was provided noting that Lara was assigned a male at birth. Doctors later discovered after a deeper dive, that Lara had multiple intersex conditions. Because of this Lara will neither fit the definition of "male" or "female".

Tammy Quayle, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 3). Ms. Quayle provided an overview of being a parent of a transgendered daughter. The hidden feature of SB180 is to marginalize, limit public access, or even legally erase transgender and non-binary people.

Jay Bohanon, LGBT Chamber of Commerce, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 4). The bill has nothing to do with women's rights and instead is a facade of the hatred with unintended consequences that will negatively impact the same women it claims to protect. Mr. Bohanon provided his own personal history and concerns.

Ellen Bertels, Kansas Legal Services, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 5). This bill will codify into law inaccurate and under-inclusive definitions of gender. This bill would create significant confusion and discord for her clients as they try to figure out whether they are allowed to change their gender marker on state-issue IDs. There is a concern that the bill is broad enough to act as a de facto "gender marker ban" and make it impossible for trans Kansans to obtain state documentation that accurately reflects their gender. Having mismatched or inaccurate ID can involuntarily disclose a person's status as being transgender. There is a concern that the bill violates constitutional law.

Reverend Caroline Dean, Kansas Interfaith Action, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 6). This bill is part of a deluge of legislation targeting trans individuals. Rev. Dean stated that someone becoming a woman doesn't threaten or take away anything from me as a woman. The irony of the "Women's Bill of Rights" is that it doesn't enumerate any actual rights, instead focusing on the weaponizing the rhetoric of rights to erase protections for transgender and non-binary people.

Suzanne Wheeler, LGBT Chamber of Commerce, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 7). Ms. Wheeler wanted to share her disappointment that supporters of the bill are bent on putting their biases ahead of the well being of the state. The organization opposes the blatant attack on transgender women in the state in the guise of protecting women. SB180 tells the LGBTQ+ community that they are not welcome in Kansas, 

Aileen Berquist, ACLU of Kansas, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 8). While the bill is framed as protecting women's rights, it instead attempts to codify into law outdated, inaccurate, and underinclusive definition of sex. The ACLU of Kansas fully supports protecting women's rights but it is unclear how this bill does that. The bill will allow rampant discrimination against transgender people and cause the erasure of intersex and other gender diverse individuals.

Taryn Jones, Equality Kansas, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 9). The bill states that "biological differences" between the sexes means that male individuals are on average bigger, stronger and faster that female individuals. Ms. Jones finds that offensive. While the bill focuses on "fairness", and an equal playing field in sports, in truth sports can never be an equal playing field. SB180 also erases people who are intersex. The bill is blatant discrimination of the trans and intersex community.

Jerry Henn, Assistant Executive director, USA-Kansas & the Kansas Superintendents Association, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 10). The bill states that an individual at birth is assigned their sex. Thirteen states allow an 'x' on the birth certificate to identify sex as non-binary. The organization believes it is the responsibility of the public education sector to support and educate all children regardless of gender, beliefs or backgrounds. This bill only puts a band-aid on the problem, It creates a bigger issue making certain classes of people who struggle with gender identification.

Michelle McCormick, Executive Director, Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence (KCSDV), provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 11). KCSDV is concerned the bill may have an effect on its organization losing federal funding because of the bill due to the possible discrimination that the bill creates.

Barbara Williams, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to SB180 (Attachment 12). The bill has nothing to do with women's rights. Ms. Williams stated that white women have a propensity to attack vulnerable communities.