Kansas Sued Over Regressive Birth Certificate Policy

Lambda Legal, an organization that focuses on equal rights and protections for LGBTQ people files a federal lawsuit against the state of Kansas because of the state's regressive views of gender on birth certificates, Lambda Legal reports.

The lawsuit seeks to challenge Kansas' unwillingness to change the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender people. Out of the fifty states in the Union, only three have not moved towards a more progressive stance on gender. The other two states are Tennessee and Ohio. The population of Kansas is almost three million according to the census so it stands to reason that there will be at least one transgender person living there.

Luc Bensimon, a forty-six-year-old transgender man living un Topeka, Kansas says that by having a birth certificate that says female, it complicates his life and that because his birth certificate says female but his gender identity is male, it makes it easier for people to discriminate against him. In addition, by not having the option to correct gender markers, transgender individuals have to live a lie outside of their control. This policy is discriminatory towards transgender and nonbinary people and displays an antiquated view of gender identity. 

The lawsuit, Foster v. Andersen, says that transgender people's rights are being violated under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution, as well as having their first amendment free speech rights violated by not allowing them to correct their gender on their birth certificates. This refusal also contrasts with Kansas' policy of allowing people to change their gender on their driver's licenses and state ID cards.

Transgender people are people like you and me and they deserve the same rights as everyone else. However, that is not the case for many who face discrimination and violence due to their gender identity. By Lambda Legal suing the state of Kansas, they have the ability to effect change and add to the progress that the transgender community has already made.


h/t: Lambda Legal, US Census

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