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GLAAD RESPONDS TO FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKING DOWN ARKANSAS’ BAN ON HEALTH CARE FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE AND YOUTH AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
- Last updated: June 22, 2023
GLAAD: “Baseless legislation does not stand a chance against facts and loving families following best practice, evidence-based healthcare that’s supported by every major medical association. The judge’s ruling is a victory for trans youth, families and their health care providers, and should send a clear signal to lawmakers and other states: listen to trans youth. Follow the science and medical consensus. Protect trans people and their right to live and thrive.
(New York, NY – June 21, 2023) GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to U.S. District Judge James Moody’s ruling permanently blocking an Arkansas law that sought to ban doctors from providing best practice health care to any transgender person under age 18 as unconstitutional, a violation of due process and equal protection rights of transgender youth and families, and a violation of the First Amendment free speech rights of medical providers.
Arkansas passed the bill in 2021 over the veto of then-Governor Asa Hutchinson, who said the bill represented a “vast government overreach.” Judge Moody wrote that the state failed to provide evidence of its assertions, and that its witnesses lacked credentials and qualifications, including never having treated a patient for dysphoria. Moody noted the testimony of experts, doctors and families that rely on the care refuted any claim by the state.
“Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics,” Moody wrote, “the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be protecting.”
“I’m so grateful the judge heard my experience of how this health care has changed my life for the better and saw the dangerous impact this law could have on my life and that of countless other transgender people,” said Dylan Brandt, a 17-year-old transgender boy from Arkansas, in a statement released by the ACLU of Arkansas. “My mom and I wanted to fight this law not just to protect my health care, but also to ensure that transgender people like me can safely and fully live our truths. Transgender kids across the country are having their own futures threatened by laws like this one, and it’s up to all of us to speak out, fight back, and give them hope.”
“Baseless legislation does not stand a chance against facts and loving families following best practice, evidence-based healthcare that’s supported by every major medical association. The judge’s ruling is a victory for transgender people, families and their health care providers, and should send a clear signal to lawmakers and other states: listen to trans youth. Follow the science and medical consensus. Protect trans people and their right to live and thrive.”
Every major medical association and leading world health authority supports healthcare for transgender people and youth. Statements here.
GLAAD documents public figures’ false statements and policy proposals, including the state’s witnesses in the Arkansas case, via the GLAAD Accountability Project: Paul Hruz, Patrick Lappert, Mark Regnerus
A judge in Florida ruled against that state’s ban on evidence-based healthcare for transgender people earlier this month, also noting that the ban was unconstitutional and would cause “irreparable harm” to transgender youth: “The treatment will affect the patients themselves, nobody else, and will cause the defendants no harm. The preliminary injunction will be consistent with, not adverse to, the public interest. Adherence to the Constitution is always in the public interest.”
A judge in Tennessee ruled on June 2 that the state’s ban on drag performance was unconstitutional and violates First Amendment rights to free speech.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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