Fed. Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Florida’s Law Restricting –“Gender-Affirming” Care

 June 7, 2023

On Tuesday, a federal judge proclaimed “gender identity is real” in an order that partially blocks Florida’s restrictions on “gender-affirming” care for a few select minors. The lawsuit was brought in opposition to the recent law that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law that restricting “gender-affirming” care for children, among other things.

This new law prohibits the use of puberty blockers, to “stop or delay normal puberty in order to affirm a person’s perception of his or her sex, if that perception is inconsistent with the person’s [natal] sex.” Additionally, the law also prohibits cross-sex hormones “to affirm a person’s perception of his or her sex if that perception is inconsistent with the person’s [natal] sex.”

DeSantis said when he signed the bill –

“Florida is proud to lead the way in standing up for our children,”… “As the world goes mad, Florida represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy.”

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis

Reportedly, seven parents of transgender children, however, amended their lawsuit seeking to block the new law once, DeSantis signed the bill. Four of the children that are involved do not need immediate care, according to their doctors. However, one child’s doctor said that puberty blockers are needed “now, without delay,” and doctors for the other two children said they’ll need this treatment “soon.”

On Tuesday, Judge Robert Hinkle, a Clinton appointee rendered the preliminary injunction to allow the three children to continue receiving “gender-affirming” treatment, saying they would “suffer irreparable harm” if not allowed to continue access to the hormones and puberty blockers. In the 44-page ruling, Hinkle emphasized that “gender identity is real.” Hinkle wrote-

“If the three plaintiffs at issue here do not start GnRH agonists [puberty blockers] soon, they will go through puberty consistent with their natal sex. They will live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. The likelihood is very high that they will suffer attendant adverse mental-health consequences. If, on the other hand, they do get GnRH agonists, they will avoid some of the adverse consequences. They also will face attendant risks.”…adding…“The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset. Gender identity is real,” …continuing he said…

“Those whose gender identity does not match their natal sex often suffer gender dysphoria. The widely accepted standard of care calls for evaluation and treatment by a multidisciplinary team. Proper treatment begins with mental-health therapy and is followed in appropriate cases by GnRH agonists and cross-sex hormones. Florida has adopted a statute and rules that prohibit these treatments even when medically appropriate. The plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that the prohibition is unconstitutional. And they have met the other prerequisites to a preliminary injunction.”

-Judge Robert Hinkle, Doe v. Ladapo, No. 4:23cv114-RH-MAF, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

The portion of Florida’s law that prohibits “gender-affirming” surgeries, was left intact by Hinkle’s ruling. However, Hinkle did criticize Florida for relying on the expertise of a doctor who has not performed “gender-affirming surgery.” In his order he wrote-

“Another defense expert, Dr. Patrick Lappert—a surgeon who has never performed gender-affirming surgery— said in a radio interview that gender-affirming care is a ‘lie,’ a ‘moral violation,’ a ‘huge evil,’ and ‘diabolical,’”… “State employees or consultants suggested treatment of transgender individuals is either a ‘woke idea’ or profiteering by the pharmaceutical industry or doctors.”

-Judge Robert Hinkle, Doe v. Ladapo, No. 4:23cv114-RH-MAF, in the United States District Court             for the Northern District of Florida.

Judge Hinkle, in his ruling, also claimed Florida’s law was “motivated in substantial part by the plainly illegitimate purposes of disapproving transgender status and discouraging individuals from pursuing their honest gender identities.” Further he cited-

“substantial bigotry directed at transgender individuals,” [referencing state Rep. Webster Barnaby’s (R) use of the words] “mutants” and “demons” [during a legislative hearing on a bill]….“And even when not based on bigotry, there are those who incorrectly but sincerely believe that gender identity is not real but instead just a choice…. “This is, as noted above, the elephant in the room,”…[he also mused that he] “doubts these treatments are available in Iran or other similarly repressive regimes,”

-Judge Robert Hinkle, Doe v. Ladapo, No. 4:23cv114-RH-MAF, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

In response, Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis spokesperson noted the preliminary injunction-

“is extremely limited in scope” [because it only applies to the three children seeking] “gender-affirming” care….“In this case, a single judge has decided that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones should be made available to three young children,” [clarifying that]. “Florida’s law otherwise remains in effect.”…“We obviously disagree with the judge’s ruling,” … “We will continue fighting against the rogue elements in the medical establishment that push ideology over evidence and protect against mutilating our kids.”

-Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis spokesperson

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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