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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Kansas judge rules that transgender drivers cannot change sex on licenses

Individuals identifying as a different biological sex in Kansas will not be allowed to change their sex on their driver’s licenses under a ruling by a state judge on Monday.

District Judge Teresa Watson issued a restraining order against Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration to stop allowing trans-identifying drivers to change their sex on their licenses after Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach sued Kelly’s administration over the practice. The order states that allowing sex changes on licenses would cause “immediate and irreparable injury,” noting that “driver’s licenses are issued for a period of six years and are difficult to take back or out of circulation once issued.”

“Licenses are used by law enforcement to identify criminal suspects, crime victims, wanted persons, missing persons and others,” Watson said, according to “The Daily Wire.” “Compliance with state legal requirements for identifying license holders is a public safety concern.”

The order comes three days after Kobach, a Republican, sued two officials in the Kelly administration, arguing that changing driver’s licenses for those who identify with the opposite sex is unlawful. Kobach argued that the practice is unlawful under a state law passed this year called the Women’s Bill of Rights that defines men and women on the basis of their “biological reproductive system.”

Kelly vetoed the bill, saying it “stripped away rights” and would “hurt our ability to continue … landing new business deals.” The Republican-controlled legislature overrode her veto, with the law going into effect July 1. Last month, Kobach released a legal opinion that the Women’s Bill of Rights required that driver’s licenses be issued based on the driver’s biological sex. The opinion stated that the Kansas Department of Revenue should update licenses that don’t reflect the driver’s biological sex.

In his opinion, Kobach also argued the law applies to birth certificates and prisons, but his lawsuit addresses only driver’s licenses. Despite the law’s passage and Kobach’s legal opinion, Kelly issued a directive last month that the state’s motor vehicles division would continue to allow trans-identifiers to change their sex listing on their licenses Kobach called Kelly’s directive “nonsense.”

“The governor doesn’t get to veto a bill and then ignore the Legislature’s override,” he wrote shortly before filing the suit. “She is violating her oath of office to uphold Kansas law. We will see her in court.”

Kelly also vetoted a bill that would have protected girl’s sports from biological males attempting to play on their teams.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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