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Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Gender-Affirming Care Ban as ‘Unconstitutional’

by Misty Severi

 

A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday struck down the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors, which also imposed restrictions for some adults, touting the law as “unconstitutional” because it discriminated against transgender people.

The controversial law was passed in the state and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2023. It barred medical professionals from administering gender-affirming care to minors, including treatments like puberty blockers and hormones. Florida medical boards embraced rules barring doctors from performing gender surgeries on minors or prescribing hormone treatments for them in 2022.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle temporarily blocked the law last year, but made the block permanent in a 105-page ruling. on Tuesday. A spokesperson for DeSantis said the state would be appealing the ruling, The Hill reported.

“Florida has adopted a statute and rules that ban gender-affirming care for minors even when medically appropriate,” Hinkle wrote in his decision. “The ban is unconstitutional.”

Hinkle claimed the law was motivated by an “anti-transgender animus” from state lawmakers, and that the report from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration was “deeply flawed,” and “bias-driven.”

“Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender,” Hinkle wrote. “In time, discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish, just as racism and misogyny have diminished. To paraphrase a civil-rights advocate from an earlier time, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice … In the meantime, the federal courts have a role to play in upholding the Constitution and laws.”

Hinkle has also struck down Florida’s Medicaid policy that excludes coverage for gender-affirming health care, which the state will also appeal.

Transgender advocates celebrated the victory, which came during national LGBTQ pride month.

“The federal court saw Florida’s transgender minor healthcare ban and adult restrictions for what they are—discriminatory measures that cannot survive constitutional review,” Simone Criss, director of the Southern Legal Counsel’s transgender rights initiative, said.

At least 24 other states have adopted laws that either restrict or ban gender-affirming medical care for minors, and before Florida, only the law in Arkansas has been struck down, according to the Associated Press.

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Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.
Photo “Transgender Protest” by Ted Eyran CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 


Reprinted with permission from Just the News.

The post Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Gender-Affirming Care Ban as ‘Unconstitutional’ appeared first on The Florida Capital Star.

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