Tennessee Is Charged Over Prohibition on Healthcare for Transgender Youth

April 26, 2023 : Advocacy groups filed a case on Thursday aiming to strike down a recent Tennessee law that prohibits doctors from supplying gender-affirming medical treatment such as puberty blockers, hormone treatment, and surgery to transgender children.

The LGBTQ group Lambda Legal and American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit filed in Nashville, Tennessee federal court, state the law, which bears effect July 1, unlawfully differentiates against transgender individuals based on their sex.

This law would prohibit any medical procedure performed to enable a minor to recognize a gender other than the one they were given at conception.

Republican state lawmakers who decreed the bill in February said protecting young individuals from being permanently harmed was essential. But many medical associations have said the ordinance is transphobic and that gender-affirming assistance can be life-altering.

The new lawsuit expresses depriving transgender youth of medically required care will have devastating consequences for them and their households. Untreated gender dysphoria can trigger anxiety, despondency, and suicidal reflections, the groups told.

The lawsuit was whetted on behalf of three families with transgender youths and a Memphis-based doctor who performs gender-affirming processes.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s office has not directly responded to a request for remark.

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee marked the ban into law last month, alongside a separate standard restricting drag performances in masses. A federal judge blocked the drag law previously this month pending the development of a lawsuit by an LGBTQ theater party.

The laws are part of escalating measures by Republican lawmakers to handle the conduct of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives decreed a bill to ban transgender women and girls from contesting in women’s and girls’ school sports. The proposal is seen as having small chance of passing the Democrat-led Senate.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuit in Thursday’s lawsuit that Tennessee’s law disregards the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by singling out transgender individuals. They also say the law disobeys the federal Affordable Care Act, which prohibits sex bias in healthcare requirements.

Several other U.S. states have outlawed gender-affirming care for minors, and over the last several weeks’ parties have sued over laws adopted in Florida, Utah, Indiana, and Arkansas.