Federal Judge Throws Out Florida Law Blocking Treatment for Transgender Children

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On June 11, District Judge Robert Hinkle blocked a 2023 Florida law that prevented transgender minors from receiving “gender-affirming care” from taking effect, calling the law unconstitutional.

Passed by Florida’s Republican-led legislature in 2023, the law prohibited children under the age of 18 from being prescribed medications, such as puberty blockers or hormones, by nurses and doctors, even with their parent’s permission. The law severely restricted the same treatments for transgender adults, requiring doctors, and not a registered nurse or other qualified medical practitioner, to prescribe the treatments. It also banned transgender adults from receiving treatment online.

According to the transgender plaintiffs and their parents, the law violated their constitutional rights.

In his 105-page ruling, Hinkle wrote, “Gender identity is real,” adding that the law violates the equal protection rights of transgender minors and adults. He said that while Florida can regulate medical treatment, it “cannot flatly deny transgender individuals safe and effective medical treatment.”

In the ruling, Hinkle, appointed to the bench in 1996 by then-Democratic President Bill Clinton, also wrote that transgender opponents cannot “discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender.” He added that, just like misogyny and racism, “discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish.”

Hinkle noted that his ruling does not address the part of the state law that bans transgender minors from receiving gender-affirming surgery and restricts surgery for transgender adults because those provisions were not challenged in the lawsuit.

A statement from Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office called the ruling “erroneous,” adding that the decision overrides the wishes of the “people of Florida.” The statement notes that “no quality evidence” exists to support the treatments, which “do permanent, life-altering damage to children.” The state will appeal the ruling.

Florida is one of at least 25 states that have passed laws that ban or restrict gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors. Many of the states are also facing lawsuits.

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