State Watch

Kansas to allow transgender residents to change gender on birth certificate


Kansas has become one of the final states to allow transgender residents to legally change the gender on their birth certificates, according to The Wichita Eagle.

The state Department of Health and Environment entered a consent judgment in a federal lawsuit to allow the practice.

{mosads}To make the change, residents would have to provide license or passport reflecting it as well as an affidavit from a doctor or mental health professional, according to the Eagle.

The professional in question would be required to certify that “based on his or her professional opinion the true gender identity of the applicant and that it is expected that this will continue to be the gender with which the applicant will identify in the future,” according to the consent judgment.

“It’s very significant. It’s something that just needed to happen,” Luc Bensimon, one of three transgender Kansas residents who filed the lawsuit along with the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, told the newspaper.

Bensimon changed his name and the gender listed on his drivers license and with the Social Security Administration in 2010, but claimed in the lawsuit that he remained susceptible to discrimination without an updated birth certificate.

The consent judgment notes that a federal court had previously found the state of Idaho violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause by not allowing trans people a method of amending their birth certificates.

“There are no protections from discrimination for transgender people in Kansas,” Equality Kansas Director Tom Witt told the newspaper. “Yet every trans person has had to out themselves as being trans in every job interview because they’ve had to provide birth certificates that don’t reflect who they are.”

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