A judge has ordered Kansas to stop changing the gender listing of trans people on driver’s licenses


A state court judge has ordered Kansas to stop allowing transgender people to change the gender listing on their driver’s licenses.

The authorJohn Hanna AP Political Writer

This image from the Kansas Department of Revenue shows a sample driver’s license issued by the state’s Department of Transportation, first issued in June 2021. A new law in Kansas prevents transgender people from changing their gender listing on their permit to match their gender identity. gender identity. (Kansas Department of Revenue via AP)

Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kansas — A state court judge on Monday ordered Kansas to stop allowing transgender people to change the gender listing on their driver’s licenses ahead of the first hearing in a lawsuit filed by the state’s Republican Attorney General challenging the practice.

District Judge Teresa Watson issued the order three days after Attorney General Kris Kobach sued two officials from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration over allegations that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles continues to change the driver’s licenses of transgender people to match their gender. matches. . Kobach argues that the law, which took effect on July 1, prevents such changes and requires the state to reverse any previous changes to its records.

The order remains in effect for up to two weeks, although Watson can extend it. But the judge’s decision is significant because transgender people have been able to change their driver’s licenses for four years, and about 400 have.

This new Kansas law defines a person’s gender as male or female based on the “biological reproductive system” determined at birth, applying that definition to any state law or regulation. It also justifies single-sex spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms with “important government purposes” to protect people’s privacy, health and safety.

Kelly’s office said attorneys for the motor vehicle division’s parent agency have concluded that the Kansas Department of Revenue’s practice of allowing transgender people to change does not violate the law.

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 cause “immediate and irreparable harm.”

“Complying with state legal requirements to identify licensees is a matter of public safety,” Watson wrote.

ABC News

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