Health Care

Latest front in culture wars: Defining sex

States are advancing measures specifying what ‘male’ and ‘female’ mean.
Kansas House health committee Chair Brenda Landwehr, left, confers with Majority Leader Chris Croft, R-Overland Park, during a vote on overriding Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a transgender bathroom bill, Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Both lawmakers support the law, which may be the most sweeping bathroom law in the U.S. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

State lawmakers seeking to restrict the rights of transgender people want to create definitions of sex under state law, in a growing effort to separate what supporters say is a binary biological option distinct from a more fluid concept of gender.

A Kansas measure defining “male” and “female” based on a person’s biological reproductive system became law this week after lawmakers overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto. In Montana, Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) is likely to sign a similar bill approved by the Republican-dominated legislature last week.

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