In a deeply troubling move for the transgender community, the state of Kansas has passed a law that will reverse gender markers on birth certificates and driving licenses for Trans individuals.
The Bill Was Met With Criticism
The decision, set to take effect from July 1st, has been met with widespread criticism and has been described as “disastrous” for those affected.
The Bill Erases the Gender Identity of Trans People
Attorney General Kris Kobach confirmed the implementation of the new law, known as Senate Bill 180, which effectively erases the gender identities of transgender people.
Despite Democratic Governor Laura Kelly vetoing the bill in April, the Republican-controlled legislature pushed it forward.
The Law Takes Effect Beyond Government Documents
The impact of this law goes beyond birth certificates and licenses.
It Includes Public Schools Recording Students’ Gender
Public schools in Kansas will now be required to record students’ gender as assigned at birth, disregarding the gender identities of transgender and non-binary students, even if teachers and staff recognize and respect their identities.
Only Male or Female Will be Recognized
This legislation, touted by the Kansas Senate as a “women’s bill of rights,” narrowly defines “sex” as “either male or female at birth” in state law, completely ignoring the existence and rights of individuals who identify as transgender, non-binary, gender fluid, or gender-non-conforming.
Mandatory Use in Restrooms
Furthermore, the law mandates that Trans individuals must use restrooms and other single-sex facilities that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.
Is it Really to Protect Women and Men’s Rights?
Republican representative Brenda Landwehr, who supported the bill, claimed it would “protect women’s spaces currently reserved for women and men’s spaces currently reserved for men.”
More Controversial Statements Were Made
During a news conference, Senator Renee Erickson, one of the lawmakers backing the law, controversially stated, “You can choose whatever name you want. You can choose to live however you want. That does not make you a woman.”
Gender Markers On Birth Certificates
This law follows a 2019 ruling that compelled Kansas to allow Trans individuals to change the gender markers on their birth certificates.
The Bill Is Against Equality
However, Senate Bill 180 seeks to overturn this important step toward recognition and equality.
The Lawmakers Were Accused of Extremism
Micah Kubic, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, accused Attorney General Kobach of imposing his extremist views and emphasized that state agencies are not obliged to adopt his stance.
Trans Activists Shared Their Concerns
Transgender activist and journalist Erin Reed, whose partner is Trans Montana lawmaker Zooey Zephyr, expressed concerns about the new law, stating that “rolling back transgender people’s legal markers would be disastrous and fraught with difficulty.”
Increased Risks Of Harassment And Abuses
Reed highlighted the increased risks of harassment and abuses that transgender individuals may face when forced to adhere to incorrect gender markers.
This Isn’t the First Time
Unfortunately, Kansas is not alone in its regressive actions. In May, Montana enacted a similar law that defines “sex” in binary terms, excluding intersex, non-binary, and Trans.
Several Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Are Being Passed
These alarming developments are part of a broader trend of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the United States. Idaho recently passed a law restricting transgender students from using facilities corresponding to their gender identity, with substantial fines for violations.
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign has tracked over 460 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2023, including “55 bathroom bills” and various proposals to limit gender-affirming care for young people.
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Source: The Pink News