Another day, another piece of hate legislation in the Kansas State House. State Sen. Mike Thompson, long known for his stance that compared scientists who believe in global warming to Nazis and those who advocated renewable energy as being a menace, had a new cause today: speaking out against medical care for those under 21. Transgender youth are once again going to be the focal point of Republican hysteria—that is, if you consider “under 21” youth. By the time I was 21 I didn’t live at home and was taking care of myself, but what do I know?
The legislation, SB12, would seek to ban physicians from offering hormone replacement therapy to anyone under the age of 21 with very, very limited exceptions. In truth, Republicans in Kansas are becoming keenly aware of a problem they face. Technology jobs coming into the state are bringing in a more progressive voting center in Congressional District 3, which helped elect Rep. Sharice Davids and Gov. Laura Kelly. Combined with a decreasing and aging population elsewhere in the state, the consequence of making Kansas just potentially toxic enough to get people to leave isn’t a side effect—It might as well be the goal.
The proposal, which is most certainly expected to be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, could face a state Senate and House encouraged to try a veto override as Republicans hold on to a supermajority in both chambers.
This is where the fun begins in Kansas. Two other states (Arkansas and Alabama) have attempted such legislation and in those states, the ACLU has been successful at suing to prevent the legislation from taking effect. In Kansas, the ACLU would face off with an old nemesis: newly elected attorney general Kris Kobach, an attorney so bad that he was ordered to take remedial classes by a judge after failing to properly follow the rules.
Gov. Laura Kelly’s first term saw a significant financial turnaround for the state, going from deficits to a $2 billion dollar surplus. You’d think Republicans would want to start taking back any issue they can as they prepare to try and win races come 2024 or even in 2028, when Kansas governor’s mansion will be wide open.
Instead, it appears Kansas Republicans have only one plan: inflict pain on people just because they can.
How nice of them.