Target: Susan Mosier, Secretary of Health and Environment
Goal: Do not change regulations to prevent transgender people from amending their birth certificates.
Kansas is preparing to remove provisions which allow transgender people to update their birth certificates to accurately reflect their identities. That state action would have drastic consequences for transgender people. As the American Civil Liberties Union’s director in Kansas put it, the proposed changes make it so that “There is nothing–nothing–that transgender individuals can do short of time travel to ever update or correct the gender markers on their birth certificate.”
The proposed change to Kansas’ laws is especially galling due to its place in a conservative campaign calculated to roll back LGBT equality. When Governor Brownback took office in Kansas, he immediately removed his predecessor’s orders banning sexual orientation discrimination in hiring and employment. Transgender people are slated to be the next target of a conservative witch hunt in Kansas.
In accordance with the grave threat that a prohibition on amending birth certificates poses to transgender people—one woman told NBC news that she predicts more suicides of transgender youth if the changes take effect—progressive forces have already promised lawsuits. The best protection for transgender people in Kansans comes from preventing this discriminatory proposal from taking effect in the first place. Sign the petition to demand that Kansas continues to allow its transgender citizens to amend their birth certificates to accurately reflect their identities.
Dear Susan Mosier,
Kansas is considering removing provisions that allow transgender people to accurately reflect the identities on their birth certificates. That change would have grave consequences for your state’s transgender citizens. One woman predicted to NBC News that the transgender community will experience more suicides if the proposed changes take effect. In a similar vein, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Kansas said that if transgender-friendly protections are removed, “There is nothing–nothing–that transgender individuals can do short of time travel to ever update or correct the gender markers on their birth certificate.”
This proposed change and its disastrous consequences stem from your recommendations. According to an NBC News report, removing provisions that allow transgender people to update their birth certificates was only entertained as a possibility after your office noted the inconsistency between that provision and an anti-LGBT ruling by the state supreme court in 2002. If that inconsistency has not been an issue for the past 14 years, perhaps it would be better not to make it one now.
According to The National Center for Transgender Equality, removing the provisions that allow transgender people to amend their birth certificates would place Kansas in a very small minority of states that explicitly jeopardize the safety of the transgender citizens. Only Idaho, Tennessee, and Ohio currently bar transgender people from updating their birth certificates. Rather than adopting new policy that does nothing but make the lives of transgender Kansans more difficult, encourage the governor and legislature to leave the law as it stands.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Women’s eNews