In North Carolina and Montana, transgender and intersex people are filing lawsuits against their state governments claiming Republican-sponsored laws are unconstitutional.
The laws being targeted are North Carolina’s HB 808 that bans gender-affirming care and doctors from prescribing or providing puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or gender-affirming surgery to youth. Montana’s lawsuit rallies against SB 458, which has amended a state code to claim that “male” and “female” are the only two sexes. The plaintiffs argue that these laws are illegal discrimination.
According to Them, last Wednesday, a trans boy’s family filed a suit against North Carolina officials claiming that HB 808 violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper in August, but was overridden by Republicans. The family argues that these restrictions will force their son to endure a “traumatic wrong-gender puberty,” according to PBS.
This case is also supported by LGBTQ+ rights organization PFLAG and represented in part by Lambda Legal, an American civil rights organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ communities and people living with HIV/AIDS through impact litigation, social education, and public policy work.
Lambda Legal counsel and health care strategist Omar Gonzalez-Pagan made a statement at a virtual press conference on the lawsuit: “Gender-affirming medical care is safe and effective, it is evidence-based, and it is widely accepted.” Over the past year, various conservative states have moved to ban gender-affirming care for minors including: Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and more.
In Montana, a group of intersex, two-spirit, and transgender individuals and organizations filed a suit arguing that SB 458 calls for sex-based discrimination, making it unconstitutional. This is one of the first legal challenges which centers on the lives of intersex and two-spirit people. The plaintiffs in the case include two intersex people, three trans people, and the Montana Two-Spirit Society. They argue that the gender binary Montana state officials wish to enforce perpetuates “colonization [that] means to eradicate Two Spirit culture.”
Similar lawsuits have been brought against discriminatory and unconstitutional state laws passed this year. In these cases, many judges find that these bans on health are unconstitutional and those who file these lawsuits have good odds to win.