ACLU asks appeals court to let trans minors get gender-affirming care

The request for emergency relief came days after a federal judge stayed a temporary block on part of a new law.

By Sarah Ladd, Kentucky Lantern

LOUISVILLE – Citing potential “irreparable harm” to the transgender minors it represents, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has asked the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to allow them to access gender-affirming care once again. 

The request for emergency relief came days after a federal judge stayed a temporary block on part of a new law. Senate Bill 150, among other things, banned gender-affirming medical care like hormones and puberty blockers for transgender minors.

That stay meant that SB150, is enforceable for the first time. It passed in 2023 but a judge kept it from going into law in June.

In other words, trans minors in Kentucky at this time cannot access gender-affirming medical care.

“If the Sixth Circuit does not act on our emergency motion, SB 150 will cause the irreparable harm the preliminary injunction was intended to prevent,” Corey Shapiro, the legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, said in a statement. “Kentucky doctors will be prohibited from continuing to provide appropriate, recommended, and necessary care to transgender minors, who will suffer severe psychological and physical harm as a result. We are asking the Sixth Circuit simply to allow transgender youth in Kentucky to continue to receive the very same medical care previously prescribed by their health care providers.”  

A similar ruling in Tennessee

In late June, U.S. District Court Judge David Hale in Louisville sided with the ACLU of Kentucky in temporarily blocking the section of Senate Bill 150 that banned certain health care options like puberty blockers for transgender minors.

On July 8, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, overturned a similar district court ruling in Tennessee, allowing that state’s ban on gender-affirming medical care for trans minors to take effect.

Hale based his Friday decision, temporarily reinstating Kentucky’s ban, on the appeals court ruling in the Tennessee case, the Lantern previously reported.

This story may update. 

Kentucky Lantern is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kentucky Lantern maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jamie Lucke for questions: Follow Kentucky Lantern on Facebook and Twitter.

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