LGBT

Kansas has agreed to change its policy and allow transgender people born in the state to update the sex listed on their birth certificates.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Friday entered into a consent decree that ends a lawsuit brought by four native Kansans and the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, Inc. (K-STEP).

The policy change is significant because birth certificates can determine access to education, employment, health care, travel and the ability to obtain other identification documents.

Stephan Bisaha

Wichita Public Schools is considering adding explicit protections for transgender students and staff this year.

Updated, 10:30 a.m. Thursday: The meeting this week ended with a commitment to resist the plan approved in February at the General Conference; the church leaders present are not yet calling for a split. Some churches will continue to marry and ordain LGBTQ members.

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The United Methodist Church is in crisis.

In February, the General Conference of the church held a special session in St. Louis, Missouri, to decide whether to allow marriage and ordination for its LGBTQ members.

Carla Eckels/KMUW

After nearly 30 years of teaching band, orchestra and jazz at Wichita’s North High School, Stephanie Byers plans to hang up her baton and retire this month.

The longtime educator has seen many changes over the decades — including her own personal transition from male to female.

A Kansas activist known for her work on transgender issues has died. Stephanie Mott, 61, was a mental health clinician, LGBTQ advocate and prolific public speaker who traveled the country to share her experiences as a transgender Christian woman. 

Mott served as the vice chair of Equality Kansas, chaired the LGBTQ caucus of the Kansas Democrats and founded the Kansas Statewide Transgender Equality Project.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Kansas' new Democratic governor on Tuesday reinstated a ban on anti-LGBT bias in state agencies' employment decisions that a Republican predecessor had repealed, and she also expanded the policy to cover government contractors.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service, File Photo

Kansas Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is targeting school funding, Medicaid expansion and LGBT protections as some of her top priorities as she prepares to take office in January.

A new system for hiring agencies to coordinate adoptions and foster care placements in Kansas will continue to let some groups cite religious beliefs to exclude some prospective parents — including gay couples.

The Department for Children and Families earlier this week had left lawmakers confused about whether a new grant system would extend those religious protections to the agencies taking over statewide foster care and family preservation contracts.

saltcitypride.com

When Jon Powell moved from Kansas City back to his hometown of Hutchinson 10 years ago, "there was no LGBT support group, anything," he says.

So he and a few others decided to form Hutchinson's first chapter of Equality Kansas, then known as the Kansas Equality Coalition, a statewide group that advocates for LGBT rights. After a decade of politically focused work, the group is putting on its first-ever Pride event this weekend to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed into law a measure allowing faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to get state reimbursement for placement services — even if they turn away prospective parents on religious grounds.

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