RELEASE: Schmidt calls on Kansas Legislature to send Fairness in Women’s Sports Act to his desk in first 100 days

OVERLAND PARK – (September 1, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General and Republican Nominee for Governor Derek Schmidt today called on the Kansas Legislature to send the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act to his desk for signature in the first 100 days after he is sworn in as governor in January. 

“As the father of two daughters, a commonsense Kansan, and as a candidate for governor who actually listens to Kansans, I can say with no uncertainty that biological males should not be sharing locker rooms with female athletes or competing in girls’ sports,” Schmidt said at a campaign event in Overland Park. “That’s why today, I am calling on the Kansas Legislature, within the first 100 days I’m in office, to send to my desk the Fairness in Women’s Sports bill that Laura Kelly twice vetoed. I will enthusiastically sign it.”

The bill would require that student athletic teams in Kansas only include members who are of the same biological sex. Schmidt has been a vocal supporter of the bill, previously criticizing Kelly at the time of her vetoes. He has also successfully blocked a Biden administration rule that would force schools to let students use bathrooms and locker rooms and play on sports teams based on gender identity instead of their biological sex.

“Laura Kelly has been telling Kansans for months that she is in the middle of the road,” Schmidt said. “Truth is, on this issue and many others she is far from it. It is an extreme view, well outside the mainstream in Kansas, to say that girls should be forced to compete with and share locker rooms with their biological male counterparts. That extreme view is held by Laura Kelly and Joe Biden, but not by most Kansans.”

Schmidt was joined at today’s event with supporters at the Johnson County Republican Party headquarters by former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines.

“When I found out Kansas of all places has a radical Democrat who has vetoed a fairness in women’s sports bill twice, I knew I had to come help Derek Schmidt highlight how important this issue is to women, and especially young women and girls,” Gaines said.

Gaines has become a national advocate for Fairness in Women’s Sports after speaking out against the NCAA’s decision to allow biological male swimmer Lia Thomas to compete against and share a locker room with her and other female athletes in the 2022 Swim Championships. Thomas swam for three years on the University of Pennsylvania men’s team as Will Thomas before switching to the women’s team in 2021 as a senior. 

“After hearing Riley’s story and others like it, it’s clear why this issue matters so much,” Schmidt said. “This is common sense. And this is fairness.”