Transgender Kansans Intervene in Lawsuit to Block Attorney General from Denying Changes to Gender Markers on Driver’s Licenses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 10, 2023
TOPEKA, KAN. – The ACLU of Kansas, the ACLU, and Stinson LLP filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit between Attorney General Kris Kobach and the Kansas Department of Revenue, on behalf of five transgender Kansans who would be irreparably harmed by an unconstitutional effort by Kobach to ban and reverse changes to the gender markers on their driver’s licenses.
Citing a new law passed by the Kansas state legislature over a veto by Governor Laura Kelly attempting to limit the rights of transgender people, Attorney General Kobach filed a lawsuit in state court on July 7 against the government agency that issues driver’s licenses, asking the court to prohibit transgender people from changing their gender markers on their driver’s licenses. Judge Teresa Watson granted a temporary restraining order early Monday morning before the state could respond, which has blocked the Kelly administration from allowing gender marking changes while the case goes forward.
“Mr. Kobach’s actions demonstrate a flagrant attempt to do an end-run around our state constitution,” said Sharon Brett, Legal Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “Mr. Kobach is choosing to focus the power of the attorney general’s office on, of all things, attacking and discriminating against transgender Kansans, and it is insulting to all Kansans that Mr. Kobach and other extremists who propped up SB 180 claim to be helping women, when they have made no efforts to meaningfully do so. Instead, they have weaponized women’s rights in a way that actually re-entrenches the oppressive gender stereotypes that hurt all of us. Our clients deserve to live their lives free of harassment, discrimination, and violence – all consequences that Mr. Kobach’s erroneous legal interpretations are designed to encourage.”
“The so-called ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ is a blatant effort to control and stigmatize transgender residents of the state,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, Director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “Limiting freedom for trans people worsens conditions for all women by re-entrenching the very gender stereotypes that have underpinned centuries of women’s oppression. We will continue to fight for everyone in Kansas to live fully and authentically.”
Today’s motion to intervene is available here. The intervenors will also be filing a motion to oppose the preliminary injunction requested by Kobach and support the Kansas Department of Revenue’s motion to dissolve the Temporary Restraining Order issued by Judge Watson.
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.