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A federal judge has overturned a Florida law that prevented treatment for transgender children

Ron DeSantis gives his State of the State address during a joint session (Via Ray Barnes/Shutterstock)

On Tuesday, a federal judge invalidated a Florida law from 2023 that prevented transgender minors from accessing gender-affirming care and imposed significant restrictions on such treatments for adults, ruling it unconstitutional.

Senior Judge Robert Hinkle criticized the state’s prohibition on prescribing puberty blockers and hormonal treatments for transgender minors with parental consent as overly restrictive. He also blocked requirements that limited treatment for transgender adults to doctors only, excluding qualified medical practitioners like registered nurses, and prohibited online treatment options.

Hinkle emphasized that transgender individuals have a constitutional right to receive necessary medical care. He drew parallels to historical struggles for equality, quoting the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and comparing opposition to transgender rights to past resistance against racial and gender equality.

United States Courthouse building (Via Jake Marsh/Shutterstock)

“Some opponents of transgender rights cite religion, much like past defenders of racism or misogyny,” Hinkle wrote in his 105-page decision. “While they are entitled to their beliefs, they cannot discriminate against transgender individuals simply because of their gender identity.”

Hinkle expressed confidence that discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish over time, similar to progress made against racism and misogyny. He concluded with a paraphrase of a civil rights advocate, stating that justice will prevail over time.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the ruling, calling it incorrect and announcing plans to appeal. His office defended the law as a measure to protect children in Florida, arguing against what they described as harmful medical procedures that permanently alter children’s lives without sufficient evidence of their benefits.

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