TOPEKA (KSNT) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas has moved to reverse a block on gender marker changes on driver’s licenses.

In an opposition brief filed Monday, representatives for the ACLU argue that transgender Kansans being required to utilize a license with a gender marker that “does not match the
gender they live as in daily life is damaging to their well-being.”

A Shawnee County district court judge put a hold on gender marker changes for driver’s licenses in the state, as a legal battle proceeds over SB 180, a new state law defining biological sex.

“Senate Bill 180 (hereinafter “SB 180”) does not apply to Kansas driver’s licenses or is, at
most, ambiguous as to whether it applies. The Court can and should reject Petitioner’s
interpretation that SB 180 forbids gender marker changes on driver’s licenses because such an
interpretation is at odds with the existing driver’s license statute as amended by Senate Bill 9 in
2007, as well as the text of SB 180 itself, and adopting such an interpretation would violate the
constitutional rights of transgender Kansans.”

ACLU of Kansas Opposition Brief

In August, the ACLU was allowed to intervene in the case, as they raised questions about the constitutionality of SB 180, which establishes definitions of “male” and “female” in state statute.

While, debates in the Kansas Legislature focused around defining biological sex in facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach argued that it also applies to state identification documents.

In response, democratic Kansas Governor Laura Kelly sought separate legal counsel and authorized state agencies to continue changing gender markers on state ID’s. A court fight ensued between Kobach and the Kansas Department of Revenue Division of Vehicles.

In July, Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson issued a temporary restraining order on changing gender markers on driver’s licenses, ahead of a motion hearing scheduled for January 2024.