Kansas must stick with sex at birth for drivers license, judge rules

A judge ruled Monday that Kansas must list only sex at birth on its driver’s licenses until a lawsuit over the issue is resolved.

After the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) began allowing drivers to change the sex on their state licenses, the Kansas Legislature last spring passed a law requiring the listing of sex at birth. Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the bill, but both the House and Senate voted to override her veto, and it became law last July.

Nonetheless, KDOR brazenly announced the law “would not change KDOR’s procedures for obtaining, renewing, or changing the sex designation on a Kansas driver’s license,” notes Shawnee County District Judge Teresa L. Watson.

Attorney General Kris Kobach quickly filed suit last summer, resulting in Monday’s ruling.

“This decision is a victory for the rule of law and common sense,” Kobach said in a statement. “The Legislature wisely stated that state agencies should record biological sex at birth, and today the court held that the meaning of the law is clear.”

In granting a temporary injunction requiring the law be followed, the judge wrote the statute is clear in requiring “the sex designation on driver’s licenses and the corresponding information in the KDOR database to identify the licensee’s biological sex as male or female at birth.”

In issuing the temporary injunction, the judge had to find that there is a “substantial likelihood” the attorney general will ultimately prevail in the case.

Michael Ryan – The Heartlander

Michael Ryan is Executive Editor of The Heartlander. A Kansas City native, he's been an award-winning reporter, editor and opinion writer at newspapers in Kansas, Missouri, Georgia and Texas. See more at www.heartlandernews.com

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