Ellen Bertels Points to Pervasive Impact of New Kansas Law on Transgender Lives

Ellen Bertels (’21), current Fellow with Kansas Legal Services, was quoted in The Kansas City Star discussing recently passed Kansas law requiring that access to certain public facilities and services be based on sex assigned at birth (“Kansas Will Legally Define Gender as Sex at Birth. What That Means for Transgender Rights,” May 3). Ellen addressed the law’s “broad reaching consequences for the way that trans folks interact with society in everyday life.” D.C. Hiegert (’22), current Fellow with the ACLU of Kansas, was also mentioned, noting that the law’s definitions of mother and father may weigh into court proceedings concerning adoption and child welfare. Touching on a wide range of issues including the law’s impact on securing services in times of crisis, Ellen further alerted that the language of the bill precludes changing gender markers on state-issued IDs: “If an individual is not able to be recognized legally by their gender identity and must be recognized on state documents as their sex assigned at birth, that effectively bans gender marker changes.”