Four transgender plaintiffs in Kansas — two men and two women — are suing the state, saying the state’s policy on birth certificates violates their rights.
While the state allows changes to driver’s licenses and state ID cards, they refused to change the sex on four people’s birth certificates.
Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit, Foster v. Andersen, with the U.S. District Court in Kansas City. They are representing Luc Bensimon, Nyla Foster, Jessica Hicklin, and a final client identified by his initials, C.K.
‘By not allowing transgender people like me to correct our birth certificates, the state complicates every aspect of our lives,’ Bensimon said.
‘Having to present a birth certificate that incorrectly identifies me as female makes it easier for people to discriminate against me based on my gender identity, on top of the discrimination I already confront based on my disability.’
Bensimon also has a mild form of cerebral palsy.
An ‘archaic’ policy
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal, described the state’s policy as ‘archaic and discriminatory’.
He added that 47 states in total, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, give people access so they can change their government-issued identity documents to reflect their gender identity.
‘It is about time Kansas joins them,’ Gonzalez-Padan concluded.
The lawsuit states that plaintiff Foster once had to present her birth certificate for a job application.
By doing so, she was essentially outed and ‘subsequently treated suspiciously and disrespectfully by prospective employers’.
A 2015 survey about transgender experiences in the United States revealed a third of trans people with identity documents not matching their gender identity experienced discrimination, harassment, and in some cases assault.