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Judge Strikes Down Florida’s Ban On Transgender Medical Services For Children

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Judge Strikes Down Florida’s Ban On Transgender Medical Services For Children

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down major parts of Florida’s ban on transgender medical interventions for children.

Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that “gender identity is real” and that a “widely accepted standard of care” includes puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

In May of last year, Florida banned these hormonal transgender medical treatments for children.

“The state of Florida can regulate as needed but cannot flatly deny transgender individuals safe and effective medical treatment — treatment with medications routinely provided to others with the state’s full approval so long as the purpose is not to support the patient’s transgender identity,” Hinkle wrote in his order.

Hinkle also nixed two parts of the ban applying to adults. The law required adults to see a doctor in person before starting cross-sex hormones and stated that hormone treatments for adults “may not be prescribed, administered, or performed except by a physician.”

Three families along with LGBT groups sued over Florida’s ban, claiming the law denied the parents their right to make medical decisions for their trans-identifying children.

Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) office plans to appeal the ruling.

“We disagree with the court’s erroneous rulings on the law, on the facts, and on the science,” Julia Friedland, the governor’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement.

“As we’ve seen here in Florida, the United Kingdom, and across Europe, there is no quality evidence to support the chemical and physical mutilation of children. These procedures do permanent, life-altering damage to children, and history will look back on this fad in horror,” she said.

A number of European countries have pumped the brakes on transgender medical interventions for children including England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

Several other U.S. states have also passed bans on transgender medical interventions for children, including genital surgeries, double mastectomies for girls seeking a more male appearance, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones.

Last week, more than 100 health care professionals and groups signed onto a declaration calling on major medical organizations to halt dangerous transgender medical interventions for children.

Hinkle has weighed in on several other notable cases including, a 2014 ruling declaring Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, a 2020 ruling declaring a law requiring felons to pay legal fees before they could vote again unconstitutional (that decision was overturned), and a 2021 preliminary injunction against a law penalizing social media platforms that censored content from political candidates and media organizations.

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