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Critics Blast Kansas Transgender Birth Certificate Suit: 'They Can Bend the Law to Fit Any Alternative Reality'

10-18-2018

An LGBTQ rights group is suing the state of Kansas for refusing to allow transgender individuals to change the sex listed on their birth certificates to correspond with their gender identities.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by Lambda Legal and another law firm on behalf of two transgender women and two transgender men, asks the US District Court in Kansas City to declare the state's birth certificate policy unconstitutional.

The group notes that Kansas permits residents to make alterations to their driver's licenses and state identification cards.

With that in mind, the suit argues that the birth certificate policy treats transgender individuals differently, thus violating the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection and due process.

"Put simply, all people need access to a birth certificate that accurately reflects their identity," the lawsuit reads. "However, transgender people born in Kansas, unlike cisgender people born in Kansas, do not have access to accurate birth certificates."

"Let me be clear," Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior attorney for Lambda Legal, said at a Monday press conference. "A transgender woman is a woman. A transgender man is a man — period."  

Furthermore, the attorney notes, a birth certificate is the "quintessential identity document that follows a person from birth until death."

"It is essential," Gonzalez-Pagan said. "It allows a person to navigate through life."

Nyla Foster, one of the plaintiffs, agreed. "By denying me a truthful and correct birth certificate, Kansas is forcing me to lie," The Kansas City Star quoted Foster. "It is forcing me to carry inconsistent documentation that exposes me to intimidation, prejudice, rejection, humiliation and ultimately violence."

Theresa Freed serves as deputy secretary of public affairs for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She acknowledges that while a Kansas statute permits the state to make "minor corrections" to records, "gender identity would not be considered a minor correction."

Meanwhile, the Family Policy Alliance goes a step further, explaining that allowing such changes to a birth certificate would effectively render the document meaningless.

"If a person has a 'right' to change basic facts, especially on official documents used by the state to maintain accurate vital records and statistics, then any effort to gather and maintain data by the state is pointless," FPA Policy Manager Stephanie Curry told The Christian Post.

"For example," she explained, "without accurate data, it would be pointless to attempt to determine the instances of sexual assault against women by men, or the number of female versus male citizens of a state."

Moreover, Curry warned that the issue was far from trivial and that allowing such changes would have far-reaching societal implications.

"The Left repeats the slogan 'trans women are women' simply because they have to," she said. "When lawmakers give the Left the power to rewrite the meaning of words, they can bend the law to fit any alternative reality."

"In other words," Curry concluded, "when 'woman' no longer means woman, then the term 'woman' in the law can mean anything."

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