Federal Judges Block Two Separate Red State Laws Banning Child Sex Changes

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Federal judges blocked state bans on child sex change procedures in Tennessee and Kentucky in two separate Wednesday rulings, according to court documents.

Trump-appointed Judge Eli Richardson temporarily blocked Tennessee’s law, which was set to go into effect July 1, over concerns that it violates the constitutional rights of children who believe they’re transgender and their parents. Obama-appointed Judge David Hale also blocked Kentucky’s ban on child sex changes with a temporary injunction Wednesday over nearly identical constitutional concerns.

“Parents have a fundamental right to direct the medical care of their children, which naturally includes the right of parents to request certain medical treatments on behalf of their children,” the Tennessee decision read. (RELATED: ‘We’re Affirming That They Should Hate Themselves’: Doctor Says Support For Gender Transitions Drives Youth Suicides)

Tennessee passed legislation barring healthcare providers from administering cross-sex treatments to minors including surgeries, puberty blockers and cross sex hormones earlier this year following widespread blowback over reports of child gender transitions being performed in the state.

Richardson agreed with the complaints brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in their lawsuit challenging the legislation: that the law violated the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment by interfering with parents’ right to request certain medical treatments for their minor children, and that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by imposing disparate treatment on the basis of transgender status.

“The Court realizes that today’s decision will likely stoke the already controversial fire regarding the rights of transgender individuals in American society on the one hand, and the countervailing power of states to control certain activities within their borders and to use that power to protect minors,” the decision reads.

Richardson’s decision notes that a federal judge has already issued a permanent injunction against a similar bill on constitutional grounds, in reference to the recent ruling striking down Arkansas’ first in the nation ban on child sex changes.

“If allowed to take effect, SB 150 would eliminate treatments that have already significantly benefited six of the seven minor plaintiffs and prevent other transgender children from accessing these beneficial treatments in the future,” the Kentucky ruling read. “Because ‘it is always in the public interest to prevent the violation of a party’s constitutional rights,’ this factor also weighs in favor of injunctive relief.”

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