Federal judge rules unconstitutional Florida’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors

Some of Florida’s restrictions on medical care for transgender children and adults are unconstitutional and unjustified, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by transgender Floridians and their families against the state.

“Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender,” U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s decision read.

This ruling in Doe v. Ladapo prohibits enforcement of some parts of a 2023 Florida law that added several restrictions to adults receiving cross-sex hormone therapy and blocked puberty blockers and hormone therapy for teenagers under 18. The suit was brought by several parents of children whose gender identity did not align with their biological sex, as well as a transgender man.

The law was passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis spokesperson Julia Friedland said that the state will appeal this ruling.

“Through their elected representatives, the people of Florida acted to protect children in this state, and the Court was wrong to override their wishes. We disagree with the Court’s erroneous rulings on the law, on the facts, and on the science,” Friedland wrote in an email.

The judge wrote that the law showed “bias of the kind sometimes directed at racial or ethnic minorities or women but also a belief that transgenders should not exist at all—or should not be allowed to pursue their transgender identities.”

He called out discriminatory language used by legislators such as Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona, who called transgender people “mutants” and “demons” at a committee hearing for a related bill.

One of the plaintiffs in the case said the ruling was good news for her child.

“This ruling means I won’t have to watch my daughter needlessly suffer because I can’t get her the care she needs. Seeing Susan’s fear about this ban has been one of the hardest experiences we’ve endured as parents. All we’ve wanted is to take that fear away and help her continue to be the happy, confident child she is now,” said one of the plaintiffs in a statement. She stayed anonymous in order to protect her and her child’s privacy.

Her daughter, referred to as Susan Doe, was “living fully as a girl” since kindergarten but had not started taking medical treatment because she hadn’t reached puberty.

The treatments at issue in this case were puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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