The Kansas Republican Party has voted to "oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity."
The party’s state committee endorsed that statement on Saturday and also said it recognizes the dignity of those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
The committee approved a resolution on human sexuality after a debate where some questioned the state party’s priorities. The lead proponent of the resolution said he was motivated by love.
In the resolution, the party affirms "God’s design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception." The document also opposes efforts to surgically or hormonally alter an individual’s body to conform with "perceived gender identity."
The committee approved the resolution on a voice vote. The committee is made up of about 180 people, with delegates from each congressional district, along with elected officials and leaders of groups affiliated with the party.
Eric Teetsel, who proposed the resolution, said the party needs to be willing to tell people what is true and good.
"And ultimately, an ideology that says you can determine your own gender identity is broken and it’s going to lead to a lot of pain, and that’s why it’s important to bring us back to what we know to be true and good," Teetsel said in an interview.
Teetsel is a member of the state party committee and is also president of the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.
The resolution was one of several approved by the party during its state convention, including one also proposed by Teetsel that emphasizes religious freedom.
Approached about the resolution, Equality Kansas said it was "incredibly disappointed" that Kansas Republicans had promoted "such an undignified and crass assault."
"This is a cheap election year attack by Sam Brownback's son-in-law, and yet another attempt to dehumanize those who do not fit inside the narrow world view of Brownback, his family, and his wing of the Republican party," Equality Kansas director Tom Witt said in a statement.
Teetsel said the inclusion of language affirming the dignity of all people, including those who are LGBT, was critical and noted that the resolution also begins with that affirmation.
"Ultimately, we are motivated by love. It is concern for the well-being of others that drives us to seek out what is true and not just for society, but for them personally," Teetsel said.