UNITED STATES: Conservative legislators have outlawed medical treatments for transgender youth in several states, but federal courts are halting their implementation.
Judges invalidated similar statutes in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee due to violations of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection provision. In Oklahoma, the legislation was suspended until the outcome of the court action, and two lawsuits in Montana and Georgia have not been resolved.
The recent flurry of measures prohibiting transgender youth from accessing treatments like hormone therapy and puberty blockers are temporarily eased by court orders. Such laws have been passed by twenty states, the majority of which have been signed into force this year.
Conservative lawmakers have supported these laws to uphold traditional values and portray Democrats as out of touch with sex and religion issues. Democrat, LGBTQ advocacy organisations, and medical professionals argue that these bans are unfairly single out a community already at risk that can benefit from gender-affirming care.
Judges have ruled that gender-affirming care is medically necessary for transgender youth experiencing gender dysphoria caused by the discrepancy between gender identity and birth sex. Three judges, chosen by Trump, have also ruled that prohibiting such care violates parents’ freedom to choose their child’s medical care.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the US, has a litigation director believes courts are taking time to recognise the humanity of families and children affected by these bans.
Supporters of medical laws argue that courts were wrong and the current medical consensus will change. A senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom told the media that legislatures often restrict the medical profession based on age and method.
However, in Arkansas, a judge appointed by former President Barack Obama invalidated a transgender statute. Advocacy organisations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, and Lambda Legal, have taken legal action on behalf of transgender families. As per the groups, they face funding constraints, limited legal counsel, and a lack of prepared families to challenge state laws.