A federal lawsuit filed in Kansas on Monday alleges that the state is violating the rights of trans-identified persons by not allowing them to change the sex on their birth certificates.
The Kansas City Star reported that Lambda Legal, an LGBT advocacy group, along with another law firm filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, on behalf or four individuals who say they’re now the opposite sex and identify as transgender. Attorneys for the trans-identified persons argue their clients’ rights under the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection and due process are being violated by the state’s refusal to issue “updated” birth certificates.
“Let me be clear. A transgender woman is a woman. A transgender man is a man — period,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior attorney for Lambda Legal, at a news conference announcing the filing.
A birth certificate is a “quintessential identity document that follows a person from birth until death” and is therefore “essential,” Gonzalez-Pagan said. “It allows a person to navigate through life.”
Theresa Freed, who’s the deputy secretary of public affairs for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said in an email to the outlet that the matter had been previously litigated in a state court, referencing a Kansas statute that permits the state to make “minor corrections” to records.
“The Kansas Department of Health and Environment does not have the authority to change an individual’s birth certificate, with the exception of minor corrections or by court order,” Freed said.
“Gender identity would not be considered a minor correction.”
Transgender advocates insist, as do the plaintiffs in this case, that denying them official documents like birth certificates indicating the sex they say they are forces them to lie and puts them at risk of harassment and violence. Yet others point out that birth certificates are rendered essentially meaningless if such changes are allowed.
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Source: Christian Post