Federal Judge Overturns Florida’s Gender-Affirming Care Ban

Federal Judge Overturns Florida’s Gender-Affirming Care Ban

In a huge win for the trans community, a U.S. District Court has permanently blocked Florida from enforcing bans on gender-affirming care for transgender minors as well as some adults.

According to LGBTQ Nation, a ruling made on Tuesday from Judge Robert Hinkle of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida called the bans “unconstitutional.” These bans throughout the state blocked gender-affirming care in the form of puberty blockers and hormone therapies, and threatened to penalize healthcare providers who offered this care to their patients. The ruling found the bans to be unconstitutional on the basis of curtailing the basic rights for all citizens to access proper medical assistance or care, or provide care to patients.

In the 105-page ruling, gender dysphoria was cited as a part of the great need for mental and physical health care for trans people. It also touched on the unscientific and unproven nature of the bans, and supported its claims by referring to dozens of medical organizations that have backed gender-affirming care. 

Hinkle wrote “Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs, but they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender.” 

“Some transgender opponents invoke religion to support their position, just as some once invoked religion to support their racism or misogyny,” he continued.

The case was brought on by both anonymous and named parties including transgender adult Lucien Hamel. Hamel issued a statement saying “This is my home. I’ve lived here my entire life…This is my son’s home. I can’t just uproot my family and move across the country. The state has no place interfering in people’s private medical decisions, and I’m relieved that I can once again get the healthcare that I need here in Florida.” 

According to AP News, a mother of one of the children plaintiffs said “This ruling means I won’t have to watch my daughter needlessly suffer because I can’t get her the care she needs.” 

At large, this ruling guarantees transgender Floridians, who have faced a near constant battle against hateful state laws, access to healthcare, without having to travel out-of-state to obtain it.  As expected, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has already stated they would move to appeal the law.

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