WICHITA, Kan. – A divisive issue is sparking controversy across the state.
Kansas lawmakers are weighing in on a proposal to prevent transgender people from updating their birth certificates.
Kansas would be one of only four states to not allow transgender people to change gender on birth certificate.
Transgender activists warn that this will increase discrimination across the state.
“I have a hard time understanding the point behind it, if the point is not to be discrimination,” stated Wichitan, Elle Boatman, who transitioned four years ago.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment is trying to enforce a policy that would make it almost impossible for transgender people to alter their gender on their birth certificate.
“The KDHE regulation being proposed says a person cannot change their birth certificate unless it’s demonstrated that the gender on the birth certificate was incorrect on the original birth certificate,” Dan Monnat, KSN Legal Expert.
“It’s already difficult for trans people to update documents and when your documents don’t match that can put you in some really bad situations, my driver’s license still says male,” Boatman explained.
According to the Kansas Statute, only minor corrections to birth certificates are allowed, and Governor Brownback argues that changing the sex designation is not a minor change.
“People can disagree and say I don’t like this and thinks it should be changed, but the law is the law and you implement it,” said Brownback.
It’s a change that will not only affect the transgender community, but Monnat tells KSN that taxpayers might soon feel the cost of this as soon as the policy goes into effect.
“Civil rights lawsuits will be brought by transgender individuals and hundreds of thousands of Kansas tax payer dollars will be squandered defending bigoted, discriminatory regulations,” explained Monnat.
The proposed change could go into effect as early as in the next six weeks.
The Obama Administration is now telling public schools that they must allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity in order to provide students with non-discriminatory environments.
KSNW TV – By Avery Anderson