Lawsuit filed against Ky.’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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Kentucky Lantern

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius are suing to block part of a law they’ve called the worst anti-trans bill in the United States.

This suit comes more than a month after the legislature passed controversial Senate Bill 150, which bans gender-affirming care for minors, allows teachers to misgender trans kids, regulates which bathrooms kids can use and limits the sex education students can receive.

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“Under the Constitution, trans youth in Kentucky have the right to medically necessary care,” Corey Shapiro, ACLU of Kentucky’s legal director, said.

The lawsuit, he said, is “to protect against this imminent threat to their well-being and make certain they can thrive by continuing to receive medical care.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a statement promising to “intervene to defend this law and help keep Kentucky’s kids safe.” Cameron also seeks to be Kentucky’s next governor.

Suit takes issue with ‘dangerous law’

ACLU lawyers specifically take issue with Section Four of Senate Bill 150, which prohibits health care providers from prescribing puberty blockers or hormones, performing surgeries like phalloplasty and vaginoplasty or hysterectomies and vasectomies on minors. Essentially, it bans gender-affirming care for trans youth. There is an exception clause for people born intersex.

“Parents, not the government, should make medical decisions for their children,” NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said in a statement. “This is a dangerous law that intrudes on family privacy and prevents doctors from doing their job.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seven minors and their parents identified only as John Doe or Jane Doe. The suit argues their rights to privacy are threatened by the ban, which will go into effect June 29.

A person’s transgender identity or gender dysphoria diagnosis, the suit states, is information of a “highly sensitive and personal nature.”

Rebecca Blankenship, Kentucky’s first openly trans elected official and the executive director of Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky, said in a statement that “We strongly support all efforts to protect Kentucky’s kids, especially Kentucky’s most vulnerable: LGBTQ kids.”

Ban Conversion Therapy is working on a separate lawsuit.