Kansas Attorney General Battles To Maintain Gender Ban On Licenses

Aiexpress – Gender and sex assigned at birth are often confused, but they are actually two separate concepts. Sex assigned at birth refers to the classification of individuals as male or female based on physical attributes like reproductive organs. It is a biological determination. On the other hand, gender is a social and cultural construct that encompasses one’s personal identity, expression, and overall sense of self. It is a deeply personal aspect of a person’s life and can differ from the sex assigned at birth.

The way society understands and embraces different gender identities has progressed significantly. Individuals who identify as non-binary, genderqueer, or transgender, for instance, may not conform strictly to traditional male or female categorizations. Their gender identity may not align with the sex assigned to them at birth. It is essential to acknowledge and honor these diverse identities in order to foster an inclusive society.

The debate over whether driver’s licenses should indicate a person’s gender identity or their sex assigned at birth continues to be a contentious issue. Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is in favor of keeping the connection between gender and sex assigned at birth on driver’s licenses. This viewpoint has sparked a passionate discussion about individual rights, government involvement, and the potential effects on transgender individuals.

Kobach Argues His Position To Keep The Ban

“This case boils down to whether or not an agency adheres to the explicit instructions of Kansas law,” expressed Kobach during an interview following Thursday’s hearing, as reported by the Kansas Reflector. “They are taking advantage of this case as a chance to fabricate these newfound rights. That’s essentially what’s happening in legal jargon.”

In July, Kobach initiated legal action against the Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles, aiming to prevent transgender individuals from altering the gender on their driver’s license. His stance is that the gender on the license should align with the gender assigned at birth.


The district court responded to Kobach’s lawsuit by issuing a temporary restraining order that prohibited Gov. Laura Kelly’s order from allowing individuals to change their gender on state-issued identity cards and driver’s licenses.

The ALCU of Kansas has been granted permission by the court to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of five transgender Kansas residents. According to The Kansas City Star, these individuals argue that the gender marker ban on state-issued identity cards and driver’s licenses would cause them harm.

As of now, the current driver’s licenses are not impacted by the restraining order. However, any new or renewed cards will be changed back to the gender assigned at birth.

Gov. Kelly Hopes Court Protects The Trans Community

Governor Kelly has made a commitment to let the court decide the course of action regarding gender markers on Kansas driver’s licenses. She expressed her stance and expressed her hope that the court will do what is right for the transgender community.

Kansas driver’s licenses currently show the sex assigned at birth instead of a person’s gender identity. This means that if someone undergoes a gender transition and identifies as a different gender, their driver’s license will not accurately represent their true identity. This can create challenges and potential discrimination for transgender individuals.

Those who oppose changing the policy argue that driver’s licenses are a valid form of identification and should accurately reflect the gender assigned to an individual at birth. They believe that accommodating gender identity could potentially cause confusion and misuse of identification documents. However, it is important to acknowledge that a person’s gender identity is a fundamental aspect of their identity and should be treated with respect.

The Transgender Community Testifies In Court

Dr. Beth Oller, a respected physician in Rocks County, has extensive experience treating transgender individuals, having worked with over 100 patients. Speaking before the judge, she highlighted the significant harm caused to the LGBTQ community due to the blocking of driver’s licenses for gender affirmation. Dr. Oller emphasized that this policy creates a distressing situation, preventing transgender individuals from accessing the necessary support and care. Consequently, her patients often experience heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and social isolation.

Oller stated that in order to change the gender on a license, a physician’s letter is necessary. She added that she has written approximately 40 letters recommending patients’ genders on their legal documents.

During the trial, transgender residents bravely stepped forward to share their personal experiences. One particular resident became overwhelmed with emotion on the stand, shedding tears as she recounted the challenges she faced living as a transgender individual without a driver’s license that accurately reflected her gender identity.

She recounted an incident where she was asked to leave a gas station simply because the cashier noticed that her license identified her as male (M). She emphasized how she felt a strong sense of animosity from the cashier as they looked at her. All she wanted was to make a simple purchase, but the encounter left her feeling judged and deeply impacted her self-esteem.

If the ban on gender markers becomes permanent, she would be forced to leave the state. What’s more, this decision would leave her with the feeling that Kansas is essentially expelling her for something she has no control over.

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