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.
"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. For example, 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," said Stephanie Curry, policy manager for Family Policy Alliance in an email to The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"The Left repeats the slogan 'trans women are women' simply because they have to. 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, when 'woman' no longer means woman, then the term 'woman' in the law can mean anything."
The case is among the latest legal disputes where the plaintiffs are seeking to enshrine the concept of "gender identity" as a category worthy of civil rights protections.
Lambda Legal filed a similar lawsuit earlier this year in Ohio, which has a policy like that of Kansas.
As The Christian Post reported in April, with assistance of the ACLU, the plaintiffs there argued that Ohio's refusal to allow them to change their birth certificate amounts to an "ideological message" that gender is only based on the outward appearance of genitalia at birth and is something that never changes.
The attack on biology and the subsequent imposing of a "self-determination" standard when it comes to sex is the ultimate goal, attorney and Federalist contributor Margot Cleveland wrote at the time.
"There is an ideology at issue — gender ideology — and it is well past time for rational Americans to join together to proclaim the truth: The emperor has no clothes — and a man is a man."