TOPEKA, Kansas (LifeSiteNews) — A Kansas state judge has ruled that driver’s licenses must indicate the actual sex of the holder—not the so-called “gender” with which the person identifies—in accord with Kansas law, in a ruling on a lawsuit brought by the state attorney general.
The order came three days after Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach sued Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration for refusing to follow and enforce a state law that took effect July 1. Prior to the law taking effect, the liberal governor announced that the state’s motor vehicles division would ignore the law and continue to change driver’s licenses for so-called “transgender”-identifying persons, in a move that District Judge Teresa Watson ruled was a “public safety concern.”
“Licenses are used by law enforcement to identify criminal suspects, crime victims, wanted persons, missing persons and others,” Watson wrote in the ruling. “Compliance with state legal requirements for identifying license holders is a public safety concern.”
The law, SB 180 , called the Women’s Bill of Rights, passed earlier this year and establishes a biology-based definition of “woman,” stops biological men from accessing women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, and forbids gender-confused individuals from changing their sex on official government documents.
In June, Kobach’s office issued a formal guidance on the law’s legal interpretation, affirming that it “requires the Kansas Department of Revenue to list individuals’ biological sex at birth on driver’s licenses. It requires the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to list a person’s biological sex at birth on birth certificates, and it requires that only biological females be housed in a specific portion of the Topeka Correctional Facility.”
“State records must be accurate and reflect the truth as defined in state law. A birth certificate is a record of what happened at the moment a baby came out of the womb. That baby weighed a specific amount and was a specific sex,” Kobach said. “Similarly, a driver’s license is a state document reflecting a state database for state purposes. It is not a canvas on which a person can paint one’s expression and preferences.”
SB 180 affirms that “sex” is defined by biology and established at birth and that “distinctions between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons or other detention facilities, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, locker rooms, restrooms and other areas where biology, safety or privacy are implicated that result in separate accommodations are substantially related to the important governmental objectives of protecting the health, safety and privacy of individuals in such circumstances.”
The law states that “Any school district, or public school thereof, and any state agency, department or office or political subdivision that collects vital statistics for the purpose of complying with anti-discrimination laws or for the purpose of gathering accurate public health, crime, economic or other data shall identify each individual who is part of the collected data set as either male or female at birth.”
Commenting on the governor’s refusal to follow the law, State Rep. Tory-Marie Blew said, “It is bizarre that this is controversial, and for most Kansans, it is not. For most of human history, everyone understood the difference between a man and a woman.”
When issuing guidance on the interpretation of the law Kobach affirmed, “Just as I must defend every Kansas law whether I agree with it or not, the governor must execute the law whether she agrees with it or not. We expect the Governor’s office and her agencies to conform to the law.”
SB 180 was just one of several measures Kelly vetoed only to be overridden by the more conservative legislature, following laws to guarantee medical care to infants who survive abortions and keep males out of female-specific athletic programs. Republicans also reversed Kelly’s vetoes of legislation to require abortionists to make their customers aware of the option of abortion pill reversal and to bar abortion providers from obtaining liability insurance via the state’s Health Care Stabilization Fund.