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Federal judge blocks Florida law aimed at protecting minors from gender-manipulation procedures

Federal judge blocks Florida law aimed at protecting minors from gender-manipulation procedures


Federal judge blocks Florida law aimed at protecting minors from  gender-manipulation procedures

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a 2023 Florida law aimed at protecting minors from gender-manipulation procedures and restricting such treatment for adults.

Calling the statute unconditional, Senior Judge Robert Hinkle said the state went too far when it barred transgender minors from being prescribed puberty blockers and hormonal treatments with their parents' permission. He also stopped the state from requiring that transgender adults only receive treatment from a doctor and not from a registered nurse or other qualified medical practitioner. And he barred a ban on online treatment for transgender adults.

Hinkle said transgender people are constitutionally entitled to the legitimate treatment they need and, quoting the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., compared those who oppose it to those who were once against equality for minorities and women.

“Some transgender opponents invoke religion to support their position, just as some once invoked religion to support their racism or misogyny,” Hinkle wrote in his 105-page decision. “Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office blasted Hinkle’s ruling, issuing a statement calling it “erroneous,” and vowing to appeal.

“Through their elected representatives, the people of Florida acted to protect children in this state, and the Court was wrong to override their wishes,” the statement said. “As we’ve seen here in Florida, the United Kingdom, and across Europe, there is no quality evidence to support the chemical and physical mutilation of children. These procedures do permanent, life-altering damage to children, and history will look back on this fad in horror.”