A state judge appointed by former Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock ruled Wednesday to temporarily halt the enforcement of a Montana law that would have banned sex-change medical procedures for minors, according to The Associated Press.
Senate Bill 99 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte in April and was set to take effect on Oct. 1 until the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Montana filed a lawsuit with the plaintiffs in July arguing that the law was “inhumane,” according to a press release. Judge Jason Marks claimed in his ruling that the law was likely unconstitutional and would result in harm to those with gender dysphoria, according to the AP. (RELATED: Sorority Members Appeal Court Decision Allowing Biological Men Into Chapter)
The ACLU released a statement on the ruling, saying that their clients could now “breathe a sigh of relief,” according to a press release.
“But this fight is far from over,” Akilah Deernose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Montana, said. “We look forward to vindicating our clients’ constitutional rights and ensuring that this hateful law never takes effect.”
BREAKING: A Montana state court judge just blocked a ban on gender affirming care for trans youth.
The judge found that this ban is unlikely to survive any level of constitutional review.
— ACLU (@ACLU) September 27, 2023
The new law bars doctors from performing or prescribing sex-change treatments such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, vaginectomy, hysterectomy, phalloplasty, voice surgery and others to minors, according to the text. Physicians could be subjected to discipline from their “licensing entity or disciplinary review board” and could include suspension of their license for up to one year if convicted of breaking the law.
The bill was touted by Republican lawmakers as a necessary protection for minors, who should wait until they are adults to make these kinds of medical decisions, according to The New York Times. Marks claimed, however, that elected officials were being “disingenuous” when discussing the purpose of the legislation and argued the bill was actually intended to “ban an outcome deemed undesirable by the Montana Legislature, veiled as protection for minors,” according to the AP.
Emilee Cantrell, deputy communications director for the state’s Department of Justice, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they are looking forward to demonstrating in court how these procedures are “harmful” and “life-altering.”
“This is a preliminary matter at this point,” Cantrell said. “We look forward to presenting our complete factual and legal argument to protect Montana children from harmful, life-altering medications and surgeries. Because of the irreversible and immediate harms that the procedures have on children, we will be filing a notice of appeal today.”
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