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Kansas Republicans declare ‘war’ on transgender people

Nick Duffy February 23, 2018

The Kansas Republican Party has vowed to fight against “all efforts to validate transgender identity.”

The party’s state committee made the declaration on Saturday, overwhelmingly voting to adopt the resolution.

The resolution commits the party – which holds the Governor’s office, a majority in the Kansas legislature, and all of the state’s Congressional and Senate seats – to a militant opposition to transgender equality.

The resolution claims that “some Kansas public schools are encouraging parents and teachers to affirm the feelings of children experiencing gender dysphoria” and that “these cultural currents run counter to God’s created order and violate the dignity of every human being”.

It adds: “God’s design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female.

“Many have sought to normalise transgenderism and define gender according to one’s self-perception apart from biological anatomy… [but] there is no scientific consensus regarding the ethics or effectiveness of attempts to align one’s biology with one’s self-perception through experimental and exploratory medicine”

“The Kansas Republican Party affirms God’s design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception; that we oppose efforts to surgically or hormonally alter one’s bodily identity to conform with one’s perceived gender identity

“We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity, we recognize the fundamental right of parents to guide their child’s education, that public schools should not undermine the values of parents who do not agree with transgenderism, and that students have a reasonable expectation of privacy and safety at school.”

Eric Teetsel

The resolution was submitted by GOP delegate Eric Teetsel, the head of the anti-LGBT Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.

Teetsel happens to be the son-in-law of Sam Brownback – the state’s former Governor, and Donald Trump’s current international ambassador for ‘religious freedom’.

Equality Kansas said: “The Kansas Republican Party has adopted a hateful anti-science, anti-trans policy that demeans and dehumanizes transgender Kansans, particularly transgender children.

“The author of the resolution, Sam Brownback’s son-in-law Eric Teetsel, claimed it was a matter of ‘dignity’. No.

“Denying science and attacking schoolchildren in the name of religion is not a recognition of ‘dignity’.

“This is a cheap election year attack by Sam Brownback’s son-in-law, and yet another attempt to dehumanize those who do not fit inside the narrow world view of Brownback, his family, and his wing of the Republican party.

“Equality Kansas is incredibly disappointed that Kansas Republicans, on a day they should be focused on protecting children, promote such an undignified and crass assault.”

Republicans in the state previously proposed legislation that would charge transgender women $2500-a-time to use public women’s bathrooms.

The bill would mean trans people using a bathroom not corresponding to their birth sex and chromosomes, as defined by the bill, would face legal action.

Per instance, trans people could be fined $2,500.

The bill claims to “protect the dignity, health and welfare” of students in public schools.

Trump was previously strongly criticised for hiring Brownback to be an ambassador for ‘religious freedom’, given his extensive links to the anti-LGBT movement.

Brownback, who needed Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote to be confirmed in the Senate, repeatedly promoted homophobic and transphobic policies in his seven years as Governor of Kansas.

Brownback used his position as Governor to rescind an order which protected LGBT workers from discrimination.

He replaced it with a new executive order, removing “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from the list of protected characteristics.

The measure stopped the state’s government from taking action against taxpayer-funded organisations which denied services to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs.

The year after, Brownback pushed for a policy to make it nearly impossible for transgender people in his state to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity.

He proposed that a birth certificate could only be updated if someone’s parents could prove that it was incorrectly recorded at birth.

Last year, after the US voted against a UN Human Rights Council measure which condemned the use of the death penalty for homosexuality, Brownback was questioned about the issue.

During his confirmation session, he was asked: “Is there any circumstance under which criminalising, imprisoning, or executing people based on their LGBT status could be deemed acceptable because somebody asserts that they are religiously motivated in doing so?”

He declined to make an explicit condemnation, saying: “I don’t know what that would be, in what circumstance, but I would continue the policies that have been done in the prior administration in working on these international issues.”

 

More: Anti-gay, homophobic, Kansas, Trans, Transgender, US

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