TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- A federal judge has ruled that birth certificates in Kansas must reflect sex at birth.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree approved Republican state Attorney General Kris Kobach’s request to block the changes because of a new state law rolling back trans rights.
The decision comes after the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) refused to follow the state Attorney General’s legal opinion. Kobach issued the following response regarding the Foster v. Stanek order:
“The Court’s opinion was well reasoned and thorough. The trans activists in this case attempted to nullify state law. The Court held that SB 180 means what it says – birth certificates in Kansas must reflect biological sex. As long as I am attorney general, the laws of Kansas will be enforced as written. The Legislature decided that birth certificates must reflect biological reality, and they were quite clear in how they wrote the law. Today’s decision is a rejection of the activists’ and Governor Kelly’s attempt to twist the English language beyond recognition. The Court has told the Governor what the law clearly means. We now expect the Governor to follow the law and cease changing birth certificates to something other than biological sex at birth.”Kris Kobach, Kansas Attorney General
In June, Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach issued a legal opinion on SB 180, a new state law defining biological sex in areas like restrooms and locker rooms. Kobach declared that the law would also require state agencies to update records, like driver’s licenses and birth certificates, to reflect an individual’s biological sex at birth.
The week prior to the press conference, Kobach filed a motion to reverse a federal court order that requires the state to issue corrected birth certificates with accurate gender markers to transgender Kansans. The federal court order was required in the 2019 case of Foster v. Andersen.
“While today’s decision is disappointing, it’s not the end of the road. The state should not discriminate or encroach into Kansans’ personal lives – it’s wrong, it’s bad for business, and it’s exactly why we entered this agreement with the court years ago. We will review the decision, including how it impacts operations and potential next steps.”Brianna Johnson, Communications Director for Kansas Governor’s Office
A separate legal battle is taking place in Shawnee County to challenge the state’s gender marker practices for driver’s licenses.