Gov. Laura Kelly applauded action Friday that cleared the way for transgender Kansans to amend the sex designation on their birth certificates.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) entered into a consent decision Friday, resolving a federal case filed in October 2018 regarding the amendment of Kansas birth certificates.
The plaintiffs had argued the KDHE denied Kansans an accurate birth certificate in violation of Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the suit said, forcing transgender individuals to identify with a sex “that is not who they are” violated free speech rights.
Kansas was among just three states, along with Tennessee and Ohio, that blocked modification of birth certificates to reflect a person’s sex consistent with their gender identity.
“It was time for Kansas to move past its outdated and discriminatory anti-transgender policy,” Governor Kelly said. “This decision acknowledges that transgender people have the same rights as anyone else, including the right to easily obtain a birth certificate that reflects who they are.”
Stephanie Mott, known for her work on transgender issues, sued the KDHE so she could change the gender on her birth certificate to female. While Mott eventually dropped her lawsuit, the Kansas Statewide Transgender Equality Project was a plaintiff in the 2018 federal lawsuit filed on behalf of transgender Kansans seeking to change their birth certificates.
Mott died in March.
“Her advocacy to make Kansas better is remembered in this important decision and in other progress she achieved for transgender people,” Governor Kelly said.
As a result of Friday’s consent decision, the Office of Vital Statistics under KDHE now will allow a transgender person born in Kansas to obtain a certified copy of his/her amended birth certificate reflecting a change in sex designation.
In order to request a certificate, the individual will need to submit a sworn statement requesting the change and accompanied by one of three things:
• A passport that reflects the person’s true sex; or
• A driver’s license that reflects the person’s true sex; or
• A certification issued by a healthcare professional or mental health professional with whom the person has a doctor-patient relationship. The certification must state, based on his or her professional opinion: 1) the true gender identity of the applicant; and 2) that it is expected that this will continue to be the gender with which the applicant will identify in the future.
For media questions, please call either (785) 296-5795 or (785) 296-1317. For questions on amending your birth certificates, please contact the Office of Vital Statistics at (785) 296-1438.