Judge Blocks Indiana Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Minors
Author: Trudy Ring
A federal court has temporarily blocked Indiana’s law that bans gender-affirming care for transgender minors while a lawsuit against it is heard.
U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon of the Southern District of Indiana ruled Friday that the Indiana residents who sued to challenge the law, Senate Enrolled Act 480, are likely to prove their claims that it violates the U.S. Constitution and would cause irreparable harm to those it affects, so he issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law while the suit proceeds.
His injunction affects SEA 480’s ban on the provision of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for the purpose of gender transition for people under 18. It also affects the section of the law barring doctors from referring patients to out-of-state providers of this care. However, he said the plaintiffs do not have legal standing to challenge the law’s ban on gender-confirmation surgeries for minors, as those are not performed on minors in Indiana, so that ban stands.
The plaintiffs are four transgender young people and their families as well as a doctor and her medical practice. They are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and its Indiana affiliate. The defendants are various state officials, including the attorney general and members of the medical licensing board.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, signed SEA 480 into law in April, although he had voiced reservations about the measure, and the plaintiffs sued within hours. The law was scheduled to go into effect July 1. Twenty states have banned some or all gender-affirming care for trans youth. Several of the laws, however, are blocked while court cases proceed.
The Indiana suit says the law violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including its guarantee of equal protection, and federal laws such as the Medicaid Act and the Affordable Care Act.
“Today’s victory is a testament to the trans youth of Indiana, their families, and their allies, who never gave up the fight to protect access to gender-affirming care and who will continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their authentic selves, free from discrimination,” Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director, said in a press release. “We won’t rest until this unconstitutional law is struck down for good.”
“We warned lawmakers that if they passed laws attacking trans people that they would see us in court,” added Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “This victory belongs to the families who have bravely participated in this case, as well as other trans youth in Indiana who spoke up about the harms created by this law. Our work in Indiana and around the country is far from over — including with this law.”
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring