TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Senate and House have revived a bill banning transgender athletes from women’s sports on Wednesday by successfully overriding Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto.

Lawmakers in the Senate voted 28-12 voted to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 2238; the House voted 84-40 to override Kelly’s veto Wednesday morning. The law takes effect July 1.

The bill would require state athletic teams from kindergarten through college to be designated as either “male,” female” or “coed/mixed.” The proposal establishes the “Fairness in Women Sports Act,” which supporters argue will level the playing field for women sports.

House Republican leaders released the following statement Wednesday morning, shortly after overriding the governor’s veto in the House:

“The Fairness in Women’s Sports act protects the rights of female athletes in the state by requiring that female student athletic teams only include members who are biologically female. House Republicans are united in our commitment to defending the intention of Title IX.
We proudly stand with the female athletes across Kansas in their pursuit of athletic awards, opportunities, and scholarships and believe they deserve every chance at success afforded to their male counterparts.”

Speaker of the House Dan Hawkins, Majority Leader Chris Croft, and Speaker Pro Tem Blake Carpenter

Lawmakers in the House gained the two votes needed to override the governor’s veto after voting to pass the bill 82-40 in February.

The bill passed the Senate last month 28-11. Republicans needed 27 votes in the Senate to override the governor’s veto.

The proposal stirred controversy during debates and in hearings. Opponents of the bill argue that it takes aim at Kansas’ transgender community.

“Trans people have given you no reason to fear us,” said D.C. Hiegert, a legal fellow with the ACLU of Kansas, who spoke during hearings earlier this year. “We are just people trying to live our lives. However, you have given trans people valid reason to fear you.”

The Kansas State High School Activities Association also said three transgender girls competed in sports in grades 7-12 this year, two of them seniors.