Federal Court blocks Florida law restricting transgender health care

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Anti-Trans image with the word trans with the transgender flag inset
Anti-Trans image by Ed Hahn

A federal district court has permanently blocked Florida from enforcing a law that bans medical care for transgender adolescents and restricts it for transgender adults. The ruling in Doe v. Ladapo found that Florida SB 254, Florida’s minor transgender healthcare ban, and the related Boards of Medicine rules were unlawfully motivated by disapproval of transgender people, violating the equal protection rights of transgender individuals and parents of transgender minors in Florida.

Florida was the first state to pass a law restricting access to health care for transgender adults in March 2023. The June 11, 2024 ruling permanently blocks those restrictions as well as the ban on care for adolescents, which the court preliminarily blocked last June.

The court noted that the restrictions were not based on science, stating, “Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender. In time, discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish, just as racism and misogyny have diminished.”

Plaintiffs presented extensive expert testimony during the December 2023 trial, demonstrating that the restrictions lack a medical basis. The court heard from experts in psychiatry, endocrinology, medical ethics, and pediatric medicine about the established standards for transgender medical care and the severe harms caused by denying such care.

Parents of transgender minors testified about the positive impact of receiving doctor-recommended care and the distress caused by the state’s ban. Adult plaintiff Lucien Hamel expressed relief, stating, “I’m so relieved the court saw there is no medical basis for this law — it was passed just to target transgender people like me and try to push us out of Florida.”

Simone Chriss, Director of Transgender Rights Initiative at Southern Legal Counsel, added, “Today’s ruling blocks the state of Florida’s cruel campaign to deny fundamental rights and basic healthcare to its transgender citizens.”

Florida’s minor transgender healthcare ban has faced widespread criticism for its discriminatory nature and harmful impact on transgender individuals. The federal ruling is a win for both transgender minors and adults seeking healthcare in the state of Florida.