In a victory for parents and LGBTQ advocates who contested the law, a judge in Texas has issued a temporary halt to the state’s prohibition on gender-affirming care for minors.
In June, Senate Bill 14 was signed into law in Texas, making it the largest state to prohibit gender-affirming care for minors. Originally set to take effect on September 1, this law forbids individuals under 18 from receiving gender-affirming treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy. It also mandates that those under 18 who are already receiving such care must discontinue it in a medically safe manner.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged this law on behalf of families with transgender children, arguing that it infringes upon parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for their children. Texas District Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel has ruled in favor of the ACLU, granting a temporary injunction until a final decision on the lawsuit is reached.
Judge Hexsel’s ruling asserts that the law likely violates three distinct clauses of the Texas constitution, including the rights of parents and medical professionals, and it appears to discriminate against transgender adolescents.
“The Act has been criticized for violating the Texas Constitution’s principles of equal treatment under the law. It is seen as imposing a sweeping ban on evidence-based medical treatments for transgender youth while leaving these treatments accessible to cisgender youth,” she argued.
The decision was met with joy by those who had been opposing the law, led by the ACLU.
“The court’s ruling marks a significant triumph for transgender youth, their families, supporters, and healthcare providers, as it strikes down a law that many believe violates the constitution,” stated Brian Klosterboer, an attorney with the ACLU of Texas.
“Transgender individuals in Texas should not have to resort to legal action to defend their fundamental rights, and we will continue to support our clients at every stage of this fight,” he added.
The ACLU anticipates that the Texas attorney general’s office will appeal the injunction, but as of now, there has been no comment from the Texas AG’s office, as per The Hill’s inquiry.
According to the Movement Advancement Project, which monitors LGBTQ-related state legislation, over 20 states have implemented bans on gender-affirming care for young people.
It’s worth noting that gender-affirming care, encompassing procedures and medications for minors and young adults, has garnered support from prominent medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Endocrine Society.