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Federal appeals court lets ban on transgender treatment for kids take effect in Kentucky, Tennessee

Court rejected a temporary injunction as the core issues are litigated across the country.

Published: September 29, 2023 12:07am

Updated: September 29, 2023 12:17am

A federal appeals court on Thursday allowed Tennessee and Kentucky to implement laws banning transgender treatments for minors, rejecting a preliminary injunction that would have allowed puberty blockers and gender-change surgeries to continue while the larger legal issues are litigated nationwide.



The ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a major setback for the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged laws passed by both states’ legislatures.
 
“The concept of gender dysphoria as a medical condition is relatively new and the use of drug treatments that change or modify a child’s sex characteristics is even more recent,” the court ruled in its 2-1 majority opinion.
 
“Prohibiting citizens and legislatures from
offering their perspectives on high-stakes medical policies, in which compassion for the child points in both directions, is not something life-tenured federal judges should do without a clear warrant in the Constitution,” it added.
 
Attorneys general of both states applauded the ruling as a victory for children and their parents.
 
“Tennessee’s law that protects children from irreversible gender-related medical interventions remains in effect,” Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti wrote on X.
 
In Kentucky, the ruling came a month before the gubernatorial election between GOP Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who supported the law, and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who vetoed it and was overruled by lawmakers.
 
You can read the ruling here:
 
The ACLU vowed to continue the fight, perhaps all the way to the US Supreme Court.
 
“Denying transgender youth equality before the law and needlessly withholding the necessary medical care their families and their doctors know is right for them has caused and will continue to cause serious harm,” the group said.

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