The Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing the state of Tennessee over a bill barring child sex change procedures on the grounds that it allegedly violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, it announced Wednesday.
Tennessee’s Senate Bill 1 bars healthcare providers from administering cross-sex treatments to minors including surgeries, puberty blockers and cross sex hormones. The DOJ argued that the bill discriminates against transgender youth by denying them access to “necessary medical care” on the basis of their transgender identity. (RELATED: This Largely Unknown Psychological Phenomenon May Be Driving Men To Become Trans, Experts Say)
Justice Department Challenges Tennessee Law that Bans Critical, Medically Necessary Care for Transgender Youthhttps://t.co/5Vm57SHpCH
— DOJ Civil Rights (@CivilRights) April 26, 2023
The move is part of a broader push from the DOJ to combat what it characterized as discrimination against LGBT people, including restrictions on cross-sex procedures for minors, according to the announcement.
Tennessee Republicans promised to ban the child sex changes in September after the Daily Wire reported that the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) was giving children hormonal drugs as part of the gender transition process at as young as 13 and performing mastectomies on adolescent girls. Videos unearthed by the DW showed a VUMC employee boasting about how profitable the procedures were, and in another video an employee expressed that health care workers with religious or conscientious objections to performing those procedures were unwelcome at the institution, though the hospital denied this was the case in a statement.
“No person should be denied access to necessary medical care just because of their transgender status,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division said in a press release. “The right to consider your health and medically-approved treatment options with your family and doctors is a right that everyone should have, including transgender children, who are especially vulnerable to serious risks of depression, anxiety and suicide. The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will continue to aggressively challenge all forms of discrimination and unlawful barriers faced by the LGBTQI+ community.”
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