Idaho judge temporarily blocks ban on gender transition care for minors

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The law, House Bill 71, specifically prohibits gender transition surgeries, puberty blockers and hormone therapy for those under 18 with gender dysphoria. It also makes it a serious crime for medical professionals to provide care, with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

The Republican-controlled Idaho Legislature passed the bill, also known as the Vulnerable Children Protection Act, in February, and Gov. Brad Little, also a Republican, signed it into law in April. The ban would take effect on January 1, 2024.

Little said the ban was intended to “protect children.” But major medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have come out in favor of gender transition care, saying the bans pose serious risks to young people's mental health.

In May, two Idaho families, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations, sued to block the ban from going into effect, claiming it was unconstitutional and detrimental to the well-being of transgender minors.

“When the adolescent patient, his or her parents, and his or her doctor agree that gender-affirming medical care is medically necessary, the law deprives families of the ability to access such care,” the complaint says.

“Being able to live my life as my true self has been a long journey, and my health care has been an important part of that journey,” said one plaintiff, a 16-year-old transgender girl listed as Jane Doe in the case. she said in a statement.

On December 27, Judge B. Lynn Winmill, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, issued a preliminary injunction, stating in the ruling that the plaintiffs had “shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their claims.” .

The Idaho legislation is part of a national wave of laws that aim to restrict the rights of transgender minors. So far this year, at least 20 states, all with Republican-controlled legislatures, have passed bans or restrictions on gender transition care for young people.

In more than half of the states that have passed such bans, court challenges have been filed. In recent months, many judges have ruled in favor of plaintiffs seeking to block these bans temporarily while challenges continue. But appeals court rulings in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee have overturned those decisions, creating even more uncertainty for transgender minors and their families. In November, plaintiffs in the case against Tennessee's ban were the first to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue.

In Idaho, the Vulnerable Children Protection Act is not the only law that restricts the rights of transgender youth and is currently the subject of legal battles.

Days before signing the Vulnerable Children Protection Act, the governor signed a separate bill affecting transgender minors, known as Senate Bill 1100. This law prohibited transgender students from using public restrooms that were not aligned with their gender assigned at birth and allowed students to take legal action against schools if they encountered a transgender student who did not comply with the rule.

The bathing ban came into effect on July 1 and in

In August, a judge issued a temporary restraining order, halting enforcement of the law until the court decides whether to grant a preliminary injunction.

For now, transgender minors in Idaho will still be able to receive gender transition care as the challenge to the constitutionality of the state's ban continues to move through the legal system.

Adeel Hasan contributed with reports.



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