Kansas AG says state IDs must revert to sex assigned at birth
Topeka, Kansas - In the latest attack on LGBTQ+ rights in Kansas, Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach said at a Monday press conference that birth certificates and driver's licenses must be altered to reflect sex assigned at birth.
Kobach's statements came just days before a controversial law, known as SB 180 or the "Women's Bill of Rights," is set to go into effect in Kansas defining sex as either male or female.
According to the conservative AG, the law requires the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to "restore" the gender on birth certificates to the sex at birth. He also says it would compel the Kansas Department of Revenue to update its database of driver’s license holders to list sex at birth.
Though transgender residents would not have to immediately give up their licenses, they would receive a card stating their sex at birth the next time they went in for a renewal. Trans people will not have to surrender birth certificates that correspond with their gender identity, but the documents would be considered outdated.
"The Legislature chose to have our laws reflect biological facts rather than a person’s chosen expression of identity and I think that’s a reasonable choice and, in fact, it’s a choice that is most legally defensible," Kobach said on Monday, according to the Kansas City Star.
"Because as these statutes are tested in court and as they are applied to one another, there needs to be consistency in our laws and our laws should reflect truth. And SB 180 ensures that it reflects biological truth."
Kansas governor opposes new anti-LGBTQ+ law
Democratic Governor Laura Kelly's office has said she does not agree with Kobach's non-binding legal opinion, teeing up a potential court battle.
Kelly also stood in opposition to SB 180 when it first reached her desk, but the Republican-controlled state legislature overrode her veto of the bill.
The law states that women and girls have a reproductive system at birth "developed to produce ova," while males have one "developed to fertilize the ova."
It prevents trans and non-binary people from using facilities that don't match their sex at birth in athletic complexes, prisons, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, locker rooms, restrooms, and more.
SB 180 is set to take effect on Saturday.
Cover photo: SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP