Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Federal judge says DeSantis pushed false information to justify trans healthcare ban

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

A major situation took place before the Christmas holiday and it doesn't surprise any of us who've tracked the tactics of the anti-LGBTQ industry and their allies.

According to Trudy Ring from The Advocate on December 23:

A federal judge Thursday ripped into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for spreading lies about gender-affirming care for transgender young people.

 U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle made the comments in court during closing arguments in the lawsuit challenging Florida’s ban on this treatment. DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has repeatedly said the ban has stopped the “mutilation” of young patients, but in reality, genital surgery is not generally performed on people under 18, and the effects of puberty blockers are reversible, while hormones’ effects are largely so. Under Florida's ban these treatments are banned for minors along with surgery.

 “When I’m analyzing the governor’s motivation, what should I make of these statements?” Hinkle asked the lawyer defending the ban, according to the Associated Press. “This seems to be more than just hyperbole.” 

 . . . Hinkle has blocked the law’s provisions affecting trans minors while he hears the suit, but he let the portions dealing with trans adults — banning their treatment by anyone other than a physician — go into effect because, he said, they would not be irreparably harmed. The law allows the treatments for young people who don’t wish to transition genders but have another condition necessitating them, such as early-onset puberty, injury to the genitals, or genital anomalies. 

 During the Thursday’s hearing, Hinkle raised the question of whether DeSantis’s support for the law and statements about it were politically motivated. “The governor just says, ‘I know it’s going to be in the headlines. I know it’s going to be popular. Let’s go for it,’” he said, according to the News Service of Florida. 

John Gallagher of LGBTQ Nation said the following:

Hinkle acknowledged that he can’t fully know what’s going on in DeSantis’ head. He wondered if the plaintiffs could prove DeSantis supported the law “because he hates transgender people.” The attorney for the families said that the law is unconstitutional as written, so DeSantis’ motives aren’t the deciding factor. 

 Hinkle said that he thinks the law isn’t about preventing mutilation but about preventing trans youth from getting health care. That’s a pretty strong signal that DeSantis is about to get handed a defeat by the court. 

 It’s also another sign that DeSantis built his campaign around a losing idea. He’s been betting heavily on using his anti-trans credentials to deliver a strong showing in the Iowa presidential caucus. Meantime, with Nikki Haley on the ascendant and DeSantis’ campaign in disarray, things are looking shaky for him in Iowa. All things considered, Ron may be sorry to see 2023 end, because 2024 may be a lot worse.