Judge Blocks Florida Ban on Transgender Healthcare for Minors

June 7, 2023

Federal Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida issued a temporary injunction on Tuesday against a ban in that state that seeks to bar transgender minors from receiving puberty blockers. 

“Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear,” Hinkle said, adding that even a witness for the state of Florida agreed.

In issuing the injunction Hinkle allowed three transgender children to continue receiving treatment. Their parents’ lawsuit challenges a law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) just two days before he announced he was  running for President in 2024. 

DeSantis has positioned himself to the hard right of the Republican Party, crusading against what he has called a “woke” agenda on the left. In March of last year he signed the Florida’s Parental Rights in Education—a.k.a. “Don’t Say Gay”—Law, which restricts certain classroom instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity. It had initially specified children in third grade and younger, but recently the rule has been expanded by the State Board of Education to also cover grades 4 through 12.

In March, a federal appeals court halted, pending appeal, Florida’s “Stop WOKE” act that curbs the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Florida public schools from kindergarten through college.

DeSantis had signed the law barring transgender health care for minors in front of a cheering crowd at an evangelical Christian School in Tampa.

“It’s kind of sad that we even have some of these discussions,” DeSantis told the crowd, standing behind a lectern with a sign reading “Let Kids Be Kids.”

Democrats and activists opposed that bill and another anti-LGBTQ law signed the same day that required students and teachers to use pronouns that correspond to someone’s gender at birth.

The gender care law that’s been temporarily blocked by Judge Hinkle also bans the use of Florida state money for gender-affirming care and places new restrictions on adults seeking treatment.

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