Orgs urge court to reinstate block on Kentucky, Tennessee gender-affirming care bans

The 6th District is one of the few to allow bans to be enforced.

BOSTON – A coalition of women’s and LGBTQ organizations have filed a brief calling on the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit to block gender-affirming care bans in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Federal Judge David J. Hale had blocked enforcement of Kentucky’s ban, SB 150, in June. A month later, he reversed his decision. Lawsuits against the Kentucky law and a similar one in Tennessee were combined.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Campaign for Southern Equality, and eleven other women’s, healthcare, and LGBTQ organizations filed the amicus brief on Thursday, Aug. 17.

The brief argued that Tennessee and Kentucky state laws prohibiting doctors from providing healthcare to transgender adolescents discriminate on the basis of sex, and are therefore subject to heightened judicial scrutiny. These bans target transgender adolescents to deny them care, even when they, their doctors, and their parents agree it is essential for their health. Such laws reflect hostility and serve only to harm young people.

Similar arguments were made in a brief filed by 20 state attorneys general the previous week.

Most courts have blocked similar laws in other states as lawsuits move through the system. The decision to allow the laws to be enforced is an outlier.

The other groups joining the brief include Campaign for Southern Equality, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Human Rights Campaign, Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, National Center for Transgender Equality, OUTMemphis, Southern Legal Counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center, Tennessee Equality Project, Trevor Project, and White Coats for Trans Youth.

The brief can be read here.

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