A new law passed in Kansas will ban residents from changing their gender on their birth certificates, reestablishing the biological definition of a woman.
Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach sued to stop state agencies from allowing people identifying as transgender to change their gender on public documents.
After the Republican court win, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said it could “no longer process gender identity amendments to birth certificates.”
The health department said birth certificates with altered gender would not need to be updated unless the individual needs a new one.
“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 department said.
Kobach said that he was “pleased” with the decision and that it was necessary to comply with Kansas law.
“The intent of [the Kansas legislature] was clear when lawmakers passed the Women’s Bill of Rights. KS birth certificates are state records that must reflect scientific fact as recorded by the doctor at the time of birth,” Kobach posted on X.
Kobach was referring to the Women’s Bill of Rights law, which defines men and women on the basis of their “biological reproductive system.”
According to the law, a “female” is “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova,” and a “mother” is” a parent of the female sex.”
The law stipulates that “woman” and “girl” refer to biological females.
The law adds that state entities that collect “vital statistics to comply with anti-discrimination laws or for the purpose of gathering accurate public health, crime, economic or other data shall identify each person who is part of the collected data set as either male or female at birth.”
As PBS reports, those decisions reverse policies Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration set when she took office in 2019. They came in response to court filings by conservative Republican state Attorney General Kris Kobach to enforce the new state law. Enacted by the GOP-controlled Legislature over Kelly’s veto, it took effect July 1 and defines male and female based only on the sex assigned to a person at birth.
“As I’ve said before, the state should not discriminate or encroach into Kansans’ personal lives -– it’s wrong, it’s bad for business,” Kelly said in a statement. “However, I am committed to following the law.”
Kobach said he is pleased that Kelly’s administration is complying with the new law, adding, “The intent of Kansas legislators was clear.”