Kansas, citing new law, will stop changing gender identities on birth certificates | ET REALITY


Kansas will no longer change the birth certificates of transgender people to reflect their gender identities, the state health department said Friday, citing a new law that took effect this year that defines male and female as the sex assigned to a person. person at birth.

The legislation, passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature earlier this year, says any school district, public school, state agency, department or office that “collects vital statistics for the purpose of complying with anti-discrimination or anti-discrimination laws for the purpose of collecting accurate public health, crime, economic or other data will identify each person who is part of the collected data set as male or female at birth.”

Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, vetoed the measure, known as Senate Bill 180, in April, but the Legislature narrowly voted to override his veto. The law went into effect July 1, sparking legal battles between the governor and state Attorney General Kris Kobach.

Shortly before the law went into effect, Mr. Kobach, a Republican, argued that demanded that the state stop changing gender markings on public documents and reverse previous changes.

Governor Kelly disagreed and state agencies directed to keep its policies in effect, according to a 2019 federal consent agreement that requires Kansas officials to change people’s gender identities in birth records when asked.

Mr. Kobach filed a motion in federal court asking to modify the consent agreement.

In late August, a federal judge granted Mr. Kobach’s request and ruled that Kansas officials were no longer forced to change birth certificates. In his ruling, the judge said it would ultimately be up to a state court to decide whether SB 180 was constitutional.

On Friday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment saying that according to the new law, “could no longer process gender identity amendments to birth certificates.”

Those who had already changed their gender marks on birth records would be able to keep their certificates updated and they would remain valid, the department added, but in cases where a “certified copy of that record is requested, then the new copy must reflect the sex assigned at birth.”

In a statement Friday, Kobach said he was pleased that the health department was “now in compliance with Kansas law.”

“KS birth certificates are state records that must reflect scientific facts recorded by the doctor at the time of birth.” wrote in Xformerly known as Twitter.

Governor Kelly reiterated her opposition to SB 180 as “wrong” and “bad for business.”

“As I have said before, the state must not discriminate or invade the personal lives of Kansans,” he said in a statement Friday, adding: “However, I am committed to following the law. Agencies will comply with court orders and work to implement SB 180 as appropriate.”

Kobach also filed a lawsuit in state court in July to get the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Vehicle Division to comply with the new law and require driver’s licenses to indicate a person’s sex at birth.

That lawsuit is ongoing, but in the meantime, transgender Kansans cannot change their gender markings on driver’s licenses after a judge granted a request by Mr. Kobach to block further changes while the case continues.

The next hearing in that case was set for January.

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