A state court judge ordered Kansas to stop allowing transgender people to change the gender list on their driver’s licenses.
ViaJOHN HANNA AP Political Writer
TOPEKA, Kan. — A state court judge on Monday ordered Kansas to stop allowing transgender people to change their gender listings on driver’s licenses, ahead of the first hearing in a lawsuit brought by the Republican attorney general. of the state filed against this practice.
District Judge Teresa Watson issued the order three days after Attorney General Kris Kobach sued two officials in the administration of Democratic Governor Laura Kelly over her announcement that the state’s motor vehicle division would continue to exchange driver’s licenses for transgender people so that the gender list matches their gender identity. Kobach argues that the law that went into effect July 1 prevents such changes and asks the state to reverse any previous changes in its records.
The order will be in effect for two weeks, although Watson can extend it. But the judge’s move is significant because transgender people have been able to renew their driver’s licenses for four years, and nearly 400 have done so.
The new Kansas law determines whether a person’s sex is male or female, based on a “biological reproductive system” determined at birth, applying that definition to any state law or regulation. It also says that “important government goals” of protecting people’s privacy, health and safety justifies gender-one spaces such as bathrooms and changing rooms.
Kelly’s office said attorneys for the motor vehicle division’s parent agency, the Kansas Department of Revenue, have concluded that it’s not illegal for them to allow transgender people to make changes.
Watson, a judge in Shawnee County, home to the state capital of Topeka, said allowing the motor vehicle division to continue making changes to transgender people would result in “immediate and non-injuriousness” can be remedied”.
“Compliance with state legal requirements to identify license holders is a matter of public safety,” Watson writes.