October 2, 2023



CNN
 — 

The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed efforts to temporarily block the state’s near-total ban on gender-affirming care for minors, clearing the way for the measure to take effect Friday.

The law, known as Senate Bill 14, prohibits most minors from receiving treatment common for gender dysphoria, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy.

Exceptions are provided for intersex patients and for some minors who were already receiving gender-affirming care before June 1, although those minors would be forced to “wean off” any drugs prescribed as part of a treatment plan. Under the law, health care providers who offer such care would have their license revoked.

Texas is among several Republican-led states that advanced bans on gender-affirming care for minors in the last legislative session, prompting legal challenges across the country.

In Thursday’s decision, the court refused to reinstate a district court judge’s stay on the law issued last week and did not address the arguments by advocacy groups who sought a temporary injunction until the court could hear the case.

GLMA, an LGBTQ health advocacy group and one of the parties that filed the suit, called the ruling “a blatant disregard for the human rights and dignities of LGBTQ+ individuals.”

“By allowing discriminatory practices to persist within the healthcare system, the court threatens not only the physical health, but also the mental and emotional wellbeing of countless Texans,” GLMA president Nick Grant said in a statement.

The ACLU of Texas also slammed the high court’s decision Thursday, calling the ban an “unjust” law.

“Let’s be clear: Trans youth are loved and belong in Texas,” the organization said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We won’t stop until this cruel ban is struck down.”

The bill’s passage in May was celebrated by Republicans who argued that the bill protects children. But Democrats worried that access to life-saving health care will be curbed under the law.

Gender-affirming care spans a range of evidence-based treatments and approaches that benefit transgender and nonbinary people. The types of care vary by the age and goals of the recipient and are considered the standard of care by many mainstream medical associations.

Some Republicans have expressed concern over long-term outcomes of the treatments. However, major medical associations say that gender-affirming care is clinically appropriate for children and adults with gender dysphoria – a psychological distress that may result when a person’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth do not align, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

With the law taking effect Friday, Texas will join more than a dozen other states that have moved to restrict gender-affirming care, including Nebraska, Florida and Oklahoma. Earlier this week, Canada issued a new advisory, warning its LGBTQ citizens from traveling to the United States following the advancement of a record number of anti-LGBTQ legislation.

This story has been updated with additional information.


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