Ruling allows Tennessee gender-affirming care for minors ban to become law



(The Center Square) – Tennessee’s law blocking health care providers from performing gender-affirming surgeries on minors or administering hormones or puberty blockers to minors is allowed to become law after the Sixth District U.S. Court of Appeals overruled a lower courts injunction.

The law has exceptions for treating congenital defects, precocious puberty, disease or physical injury.

The law went to court after three transgender minors, their parents and a doctor sued several state officials saying the law violates the United States Constitution’s due process and equal protection.

“Tennessee’s interests in applying the law to its residents and in being permitted to protect its children from health risks weigh heavily in favor of the state at this juncture,” Chief Judge C.J. Sutton wrote in the ruling.

The temporary stay allows the law to go into effect while the court vowed to resolve the case with a final ruling by Sept. 30. Judge Amul Thapar concurred with the opinion while Circuit Judge James White dissented in part.

“Because I believe that Tennessee’s law is likely unconstitutional based on plaintiffs’ theory of sex discrimination, I would not stay the district court’s injunction, although I would narrow its scope,” White wrote. “I do not find it necessary to address plaintiffs’ alternative theories of constitutional injury at this time.”

Several lawmakers responded to the ruling with Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, saying lawmakers will fight for the law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

“I am thankful to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for confirming what Tennesseans already know: Children cannot give consent to experimental medical procedures or drugs that destroy their healthy bodies,” Lamberth wrote. “While this decision is very encouraging, it is only one battle won in a war waged by the left to groom and harm a generation of innocent children.”

The Campaign for Southern Equality pointed out six different district court judges across the country have found that bans on gender-affirming care are unconstitutional.

“This whiplash of decisions makes clear exactly why the government should not be inserting itself into private medical decisions that should be left to families and doctors,” said Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director at the Campaign for Southern Equality.

“Now, Tennessee families of transgender youth are being forced into a period of unprecedented – and wholly unnecessary – legal chaos as they navigate how to ensure that their children can access the health care they need and deserve.

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