Kansas Bans Gender Changes on Birth Certificates

Originally published September 18, 2023 12:00 pm PDT

In a landmark decision in Kansas, the state has ruled against amending the gender on a resident’s birth certificate.

The move comes after a successful lawsuit by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, challenging the previous provision that permitted individuals to alter their gender on state documentation.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), affected by the legal outcome, updated its stance, according to The Blaze, stating: “In accordance with Senate Bill (SB) 180, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) can no longer process gender identity amendments to birth certificates.”

It’s crucial to note, however, that residents who had previously updated their birth certificates to match their gender identity are not obliged to revert to the original.

As per the department’s clarification, “If KDHE previously changed your birth certificate to align with your gender identity, that birth certificate is still valid; however, if a certified copy of that record is requested, then the new copy must reflect the sex assigned at birth.”

The contentious decision stems from the passage of the “Women’s Bill of Rights,” also known as Kansas Senate Bill 180, which came into effect in July 2023.

Under this law, clear definitions were laid out, specifying “sex” as “an individual’s sex at birth, either male or female,” The Blaze notes.

Furthermore, the bill describes a “female” as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova” and a “male” as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.”

The legislation explicitly states that the terms “woman” and “girl” pertain to human females.

While the bill has its supporters, it’s also met with considerable backlash, especially in its implications for athletics, locker rooms, prisons, restrooms, and other such domains.

In these areas, the law mandates explicit differentiation between the sexes, citing reasons of “biology, safety, or privacy.”

Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, opposed the bill earlier in April 2023, asserting it as a detrimental economic move.

She stated: “Companies have made it clear that they are not interested in doing business with states that discriminate against workers and their families.”

She also highlighted potential repercussions, suggesting that such measures might deter new business ventures and lead to “expensive and unnecessary lawsuits.”

Nevertheless, despite her veto, the Republican-majority legislature pushed the bill into law, sparking diverse reactions from various sections of the state’s populace.