A new law in Kansas leaves transgender people with a mixed bag when it comes to how they can present their identities. The troubles extend all the way to their very roots. Here is the full story.
In July, Kansas officially began recognizing just two genders, the traditional male and female.
What’s more, the state now says your classification can’t change after birth.
A Legal Battle
The new law was vetoed by Democrat governor Laura Kelly, but Republicans in the state congress overrode her attempted block.
She Changed the Tone
This battle has been brewing ever since Kelly took office in 2019 after a string of Republican governors.
She Gave Them New Rights
Once in office, Kelly set a policy that allowed transgender people to request new official documents that accurately reflect their current gender identities.
Backed by the Court
That same year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s residents have complete control over their own body and gender identities.
Federal Courts Agreed
And a federal judge upheld Kelly’s new policies, saying that state agencies would have to update official documents for trans people going forward.
They Flocked to Change
In the years since, hundreds of Kansas citizens have changed their gender on driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
There’s a New Law in Town
But Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach went back to that federal judge in June 2023 to ask for him to lift his earlier decision.
They conflicted with the new law, Kobach said.
Back to State Courts
The judge agreed and said any challenges would now have to go through the state courts.
There Were Sweeping Changes
The new law restricting official gender changes set up a slew of legal battles and all but assured there would be some immediate changes.
Health Department Weighs In
In mid-September, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment fired one of the first shots in the battle over gender designations on official documents.
No Birth Certificate Changes
Leaning on the new law, the Department of Health announced that they would no longer be changing gender designations on birth certificates.
He Set a Precedent
This follows a similar move by a Kansas judge early in the summer to ban changes to gender on state driver’s licenses.
Lawsuits Lining Up
That ban will last at least through January of 2024, though the transgender community is fighting back.
Five trans people, assisted by Lambda Legal, plan to challenge the law on the basis it violates their constitutional rights.
She Is a Realist
For now, Governor Kelly is still vocal in her beliefs, but is also aware of the realities involved in the current situation.
Privacy Is Important
“As I’ve said before, the state should not discriminate or encroach into Kansans’ personal lives,” Kelly says.
She Has to Follow the Law
But she admits the trans community is sort of stuck for now: “However, I am committed to following the law.”
They’ll Fight All the Way
With neither side willing to budge, most experts expect the battle over transgender rights to go all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court, or maybe even beyond.
More Than Just a Feeling
For now, transgender people in Kansas are left with no way to complete their identity transformation.
And, beyond the psychological impact that can have, it also makes for some logistical nightmares.
Many trans people point out the difficulties they’ve had in traveling when the gender on their documents does not match how they present.
Struggles on the Horizon
Unfortunately, that’s just one of the many struggles trans Kansas residents will have to fight through until 2024 at least.
“They Just Kept on Increasing” – Trans Teenagers Are on the Rise, and Now Studies Are Showing the Reasons Behind This ‘Strange’ Development
A study has highlighted the rise of teenagers seeking help with gender identity. “They Just Kept on Increasing” – Trans Teenagers Are on the Rise, and Now Studies Are Showing the Reasons Behind This ‘Strange’ Development
“I Am Pansexual” – Wayne Brady Reveals Pansexuality at 51 and Shares Struggles With Love Addiction
Wayne Brady, the well-known entertainer, candidly opens up about his pansexuality, addressing his struggles with love addiction, societal pressures, and the importance of embracing his true self. “I Am Pansexual” – Wayne Brady Reveals Pansexuality at 51 and Shares Struggles With Love Addiction
“Church Is Open to Everyone BUT There Are Specific Rules” – Pope Took a Stance on Gay Catholics, Reiterating the Church’s Commitment to Inclusivity
In a pivotal statement, Pope Francis recently reiterated the Catholic Church’s commitment to being inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals, despite certain regulations and restrictions. “Church Is Open to Everyone BUT There Are Specific Rules” – Pope Took a Stance on Gay Catholics, Reiterating the Church’s Commitment to Inclusivity
“Leave Our Kids Alone”: Superintendent’s Heated Opposition to Parental Notification Rule for Transgender Students Results in Removal From School Board Hearing
A school board hearing at Don Lugo High School in Chino, California turned into a highly charged event as over 300 people gathered to discuss a policy requiring teachers to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender. “Leave Our Kids Alone”: Superintendent’s Heated Opposition to Parental Notification Rule for Transgender Students Results in Removal From School Board Hearing
Karma Comes Knocking: Lesbian Daughter Refuses to Help Estranged Parents in Need After They Disowned Her at 18
A young woman sparked outrage on Reddit after she refused to help her parents when they fell on tough times. Was she being mean, or was it just karma? Karma Comes Knocking: Lesbian Daughter Refuses to Help Estranged Parents in Need After They Disowned Her at 18
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Xavier Lorenzo. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.