The culture war rages on at the state level. The latest battleground: Kansas.
In the Sunflower State, Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach, who has long held a reputation as a hardliner on various conservative issues, is suing in state court to obtain an order to stop Democratic Governor Laura Kelly from allowing transgender residents to change the sex listed on their driver’s licenses.
Last week, a law went into effect that both prohibits such changes and requires the state to put licenses that had already been changed back to the way they were — in line with a person’s biological sex.
“The Governor cannot pick and choose which laws she will enforce and which laws she will ignore,” the lawsuit reads, per Fox News. Kobach argues that Kelly’s administration is violating the law by allowing transgender changes to go forward. Kelly vetoed the law when it came to her desk, but the Republican majorities in the state legislature overrode her veto.
Already, over 900 trans Kansans have changed the sex on their birth certificates during the last four years, and approximately 400 of these individuals have also had their driver’s licenses updated during that time. This year, the monthly number of such changes is four times as many as past years — a surge prompted by LGBTQ groups, which encouraged people to make the change before the new law went into effect this month.
According to the new law, sex is only male or female and is determined by one’s “biological reproductive system” as identified at birth. It also enshrines single-sex spaces in places such as bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of “important governmental objectives,” putting Kansas among at least 10 states with laws that keep men out of women’s restrooms.
Fox News reports:
The governor’s office said last week that the state health department, which handles birth certificates, and the motor vehicle division, which issues driver’s licenses, would continue allowing transgender people to change the markers for sex on those documents. Her office said lawyers in her administration had concluded that doing so doesn’t violate the new law.
… The governor’s statements about the new law are at odds with descriptions from LGBTQ+ rights advocates before the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted it over Kelly’s veto. The advocates predicted that it would prevent transgender people from changing their driver’s licenses and amounted to a legal “erasure” of their identities, something Kobach confirmed as the intent when he issued his legal opinion.
Kobach and Kelly went head-to-head in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Kelly shocked the state with her victory over Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state who has long been a favorite within conservative circles for being a hawk on issues such as immigration and election integrity. In 2017, Kobach was chosen by Trump to serve as vice-chairman and operational leader of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was charged with the task of “review[ing] claims of improper registrations and voting, fraudulent registrations and voter suppression.”
Kobach lost the 2018 governor’s race after narrowly winning the primary against incumbent Republican Governor Jeff Colyer. He then went on to unsuccessfully run in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in 2020 before making a political comeback in the AG race last year.
The passage of legislation restricting transgenderism in Kansas is part of a larger, nationwide trend toward traditionalism sparked by growing American dissatisfaction with trans extremism. Recent polling has found that a rising number of Americans are rejecting the concept of gender fluidity, with an increasing number of respondents saying they believe a person’s gender should be the same as the sex as listed on their birth certificate.
According to the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey, 61 percent of Americans hold the view that “defining gender as the sex listed on a person’s original birth certificate is the only way to define male and female in society.” This number is up 10 percent from May 2022.
Last year, 42 percent of those who took the survey said they believe the “definition of gender is antiquated and needs to be updated to include identity.” That number fell to just 36 percent in the latest poll. Thus, public tolerance of transgenderism is declining.
The backlash against the LGBTQ agenda has gained a foothold even among the nation’s youth. In one example, “a Massachusetts middle school’s LGBTQ ‘Pride’ event on June 2 turned contentious when, instead of dutifully wearing the rainbow colors that left-wing agitators have usurped as a symbol for LGBTQ ‘pride,’ many students chose instead to wear red, white, and blue — in support of America.”
The LGBTQ movement’s focus on grooming children into its ideology may be one factor which has pushed Americans’ away from tolerance and toward favoring more restrictions on trans and homosexual behavior in public. Many are realizing that the Left was never acting in good faith when it assured citizens that it was only interested in the activities of “consenting adults.”
Laws requiring the listing of biological sex on birth certificates and driver’s licenses may be only the beginning of the rollback of the Left’s once unchallenged cultural dominance.