Outcries from LGBTQ rights advocate to formally reprimand a Kansas state lawmaker for her statement saying she didn’t want to share the women’s bathroom with a transgender associate at Statehouse emerged on Tuesday.
Representative Cheryl Helmer’s remarks were “unfortunate,” says the top Kansan House Republican. Democrats, on the other hand, criticized them.
The email comments from Helmer were described by an LGBTQ rights activist state perceived as “a new level of toxic bigotry” following interviews about Democratic representative Stephanie Byers.
The anger for Helmer’s comments overshadowed GOP lawmakers’ efforts to dismiss Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s objection to a bill to prevent transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s K-12 and college sports.
“We know this has been going on in offices and back rooms and conversations since the day I was elected,” stated Byers on Tuesday. “The shocking part is that it came out, that someone actually said it.”
Helmer held onto her statements while she defended a bill that would make it illegal for doctors to give hormones or operate gender transition surgery on children under 18.
She further stated that she was concerned about the young children’s safety, those who dropped by the Statehouse and criticized what she described as an “in your face” slant to advocating transgender rights from Byers, the first elected transgender lawmaker in the state.
Helmer also added that she attempted to accentuate a keynote when she entered a men’s comfort room by accident in the House in early 2021. But, according to the 70-year-old lawmaker, the men were shocked and uncomfortable, so she asked whether they would be okay with women constantly using their comfort room.
Unnerved by Monday’s affairs, she said parents should not be permitted to alter their child’s gender.
“You can’t lop a penis off and then expect, you know, a little boy to now live his life,” she stated. “He’ll be in regret for the rest of his life.”