Thursday, August 25, 2022

Transgender Americans receive two major court victories

Recently, transgender Americans received two victories in the courtroom, one having major implications on the unfortunate war against gender affirming healthcare.

According to the Associated Press:

A federal appeals court on Thursday said Arkansas can’t enforce its ban on transgender children receiving gender-affirming medical care. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking the state from enforcing the 2021 law. 

A trial is scheduled for October before the same judge on whether to permanently block the law. Arkansas was the first state to enact such a ban, which prohibits doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment. There are no doctors who perform gender-affirming surgery on minors in the state. 

 “Because the minor’s sex at birth determines whether or not the minor can receive certain types of medical care under the law, Act 626 discriminates on the basis of sex,” the court’s ruling Thursday said. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of four transgender youth and their families, as well as two doctors who provide gender-confirming treatments. 

The article also talked about a ruling last week which bodes well for the transgender Americans:

The 8th Circuit covers Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and the Dakotas. The ruling on Arkansas’ law comes after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia ruled last week that gender dysphoria is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Experts and advocates have said that decision could help block conservative political efforts to restrict access to gender-affirming care. 

The ruling could become a powerful tool to challenge legislation restricting access to medical care and other accommodations for transgender people, including employment and government benefits, advocates said. “It’s a very important and positive ruling to increase people’s access to gender-affirming care,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. The ruling is binding in the states covered by the Richmond-based 4th Circuit — Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia — but will inevitably be cited in cases in other states, said Kevin Barry, a law professor at Quinnipiac University.

The decision came in the case of a transgender woman who sued the Fairfax County sheriff in Virginia for housing her in a jail with men. The decision is not limited to transgender people challenging jail policies, but also applies broadly to all areas of society covered by disability rights law, including employment, government benefits and services and public accommodations, Barry said. “This decision destigmatized a health condition — gender dysphoria — and it says that what Congress did in 1990 wasn’t OK,” Barry said.

These rulings are significant as some states are attempting to outlaw gender-affirming healthcare for children and some adults via legislation. This legislation has been pushed via lies about children being castrated and rendered sterile by gender-affirming healthcare. Calculating politicians  religious right groups, propaganda industries masquerading as legitimate news media, and social media personalities have exploited these lies even going as far as to target children's hospitals. 

It's rather convenient how none of these people are volunteering to speak in the court on behalf of their anti-trans stances.

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