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Missouri judge denies injunction request to stop ban on gender transitions for minors

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(The Center Square) – A Cole County Circuit Court judge on Friday denied a request for a preliminary injunction to stop a law preventing adolescents from receiving prescribed drugs or undergoing surgeries for gender transitions.

“The science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear,” Judge Steven R. Ohmer wrote in a two-page ruling. “Accordingly, the evidence raises more questions than answers. As a result, it has not clearly been shown with sufficient possibility of success on the merits to justify the grant of a preliminary injunction.”

Judge Ohmer ordered a status hearing in the lawsuit for Sept. 22 in Juvenile Court in the City of St. Louis.

The injunction was requested by the plaintiff’s legal team of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, the fourth-largest law firm in Missouri, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

“While we are disappointed in and disagree with the court’s ruling, we will not stop fighting to protect the rights of transgender people in Missouri,” the legal team said in a statement. “The case is not over and will go to a full trial on the merits.”

Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey praised the ruling and declared his intention to make the state safe for all children.

“Missouri is the first state in the nation to successfully defend at the trial court level a law barring child mutilation,” Bailey said in a statement. “I’ve said from day one as Attorney General that I will fight to ensure that Missouri is the safest state in the nation for children. This is a huge step in that direction. What a day.”

Reaction to the ruling fell along party lines.

“Today’s shameful ruling will prevent trans Missourians from living their authentic lives and drive families out of our state,” Democratic St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement. “St. Louisans reject the Missouri legislature’s anti-trans bigotry, and in consultation with LGBTQIA+ leaders, I enacted an executive order to promote inclusiveness in city government. We will continue to fight back against the legislature’s hateful attacks and lift up the diversity that makes St. Louis an inclusive community for all, no matter your identity.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, a candidate for govenor, praised Bailey’s work and the ruling.

“This is a huge win for the safety of Missouri children,” Kehoe posted on social media. “I appreciate the efforts of the Missouri Legislature and Andrew Bailey to ensure that the bodies of children are not canvasses for experimentation and woke ideology.”

Senate Bill 49 was signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Parson without a public ceremony at the request of some legislators. Parson warned the General Assembly he would call them into special session unless they sent him legislation prohibiting transgender athletes and gender treatments for minors.

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