TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) will not be changing their policies for gender markers on birth certificates or driver’s licenses. The agencies are standing against Attorney General Kris Kobach’s legal opinion issued on Monday, which states that those documents must reflect sex at birth in accordance with a new law starting July 1.
The new law, SB 180, defines biological sex in several areas, like restrooms, locker rooms, prisons, and domestic violence centers. In his legal opinion Monday, Kobach said that KDHE and KDOR will have to go back and update state records for individuals who have changed gender markers.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said she’s directed the agencies to follow their legal counsel’s interpretation of the law, in a statement Thursday.
“I have directed the agencies to follow SB 180 according to their legal counsel’s interpretation of the law. While my administration and the Attorney General’s Office have had many conversations about the law, KDHE and KDOR disagree about its impacts on their operations and will instead keep in place their policies regarding gender markers on birth certificates and driver’s licenses.”Governor Laura Kelly, D-Kansas
According to the Kelly Administration, after reviewing SB 180 and the Attorney General’s non-binding opinion released Monday, they disagree with the Attorney General’s conclusions regarding SB 180’s impacts on the operations of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR).
As a result of a 2019 consent judgment, the Kelly Administration said that KDHE’s current policy allows transgender Kansans to obtain birth certificates that affirm their gender identity. KDHE
does not believe SB 180 affects the court-ordered policy adopted and enforced by KDHE. The
agency will continue to follow the federal court order.
The Kelly administration also said that KDOR believes its current driver’s license policy does not conflict with SB 180. Its policy will remain the same.