Following a court dispute between the state’s agencies and the attorney general, Kansas has made it illegal for a citizen to change their gender on their birth certificate.
Gender changes on official papers were previously permitted for those who believed they were the other gender, but Kansas AG Kris Kobach won a lawsuit to prevent this from happening. The action was filed against state entities such as the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment.
The health department has to follow the ruling, so it wrote on its website, “According to Senate Bill (SB) 180, the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment (KDHE) is no longer able to make changes to birth certificates based on gender identity.”
But the governing body also said that people who have already changed the gender listed on their birth records do not need to get new paperwork right away.
“If your birth certificate was previously altered by KDHE to correspond with your gender identity, it’s still valid; but, if a certified copy of the document is sought, the updated copy must match the sex given at birth.”
“When the Kansas assembly passed the Women’s Bill of Rights, it was clear what they wanted to do. Kansas birth certificates are now state records that must match what the doctor wrote down when the baby was born,” the attorney general posted on X.
Kansas Senate Bill 180 is the law that was enacted in February 2023 and was called the “Women’s Bill of Rights.” The law gave several legal meanings, such as this one for “sex”: “a person’s sex at the time of their birth, either male or female.”
The paper said, “A ‘female’ is a person whose biological reproduction system is designed to make eggs.”
The definition of a “male” was given as “a person whose biological reproduction system has been designed to fertilize the ova of a female,” and it was specified that “woman” and “girl” described human females.
The law also said that there had to be clear differences between the sexes in sports, jails, locker rooms, bathrooms, and “other places where safety, biology, or privacy are involved and separate accommodations are needed.”
In April 2023, the bill was publicly vetoed by Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly, who said it represented an economic move.
As to the governor’s statement, “Businesses have expressed their disinterest in conducting business with places that discriminate against the laborers and their families.”
“This legislation will hinder Kansas’s capacity to maintain its record-breaking economy and attract new business ventures by taking away citizens’ rights and exposing the state to costly and pointless lawsuits.”
But the Republican-controlled assembly overrode her veto and made the law officially take effect on July 1, 2023, even though she had said she didn’t agree with it.