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6 Jun, 2023 21:53

US judge blocks ban on transitioning kids

Judge Robert Hinkle declared gender identity was “real” in his decision preventing the Florida law from taking effect
US judge blocks ban on transitioning kids

Three Florida children who had already begun taking hormones to transition from one gender to another before Governor Ron DeSantis banned all gender-affirming procedures for minors last month will be allowed to continue with their metamorphosis, Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on Tuesday, issuing a temporary injunction to prevent the law from taking effect.

Finding in favor of the three children’s parents, who had sued the state so that their offspring might continue their transitions, Hinkle argued the youths were at greater risk from being forced to stop hormone treatment than they were from continuing and completing their transition and that Florida thus had no rational basis for its interference. 

“There are risks attendant to not using these treatments, including the risk – in some cases, the near certainty – of anxiety and depression and even suicidal ideation,” the judge explained. “The plaintiffs’ adolescent children will suffer irreparable harm — the unwanted and irreversible onset and progression of puberty in their natal sex — if they do not promptly begin treatment with GnRH agonists.”

Hinkle insisted the controversial hormone treatment would “cause the defendants no harm,” complaining the new law “ignores the benefits that many patients realize from these treatments and the substantial risk posed by foregoing the treatments.” 

“Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear,” he proclaimed, excoriating the state for its supposed belief that “cisgender individuals properly adhere to their natal sex and that transgender individuals have inappropriately chosen a contrary gender identity, male or female, just as one might choose whether to read Shakespeare or Grisham.”

People who believe being transgender is a choice are likely to also “disapprove of all things transgender and so oppose medical care that supports a person’s transgender existence,” Hinkle explained, warning that the state’s ban on such care – especially for children – would merely drive it underground and increase the risk to patients.

DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination for the 2024 election, has made his crusade against the spread of LGBT ideology targeting children the centerpiece of his campaign. The governor has squared off against entertainment giant Disney, the largest employer in his state, and has boasted on more than one occasion that “Florida is where woke goes to die.” 

In addition to the now-paused ban on gender-affirming treatments for kids, the package of legislation signed into Florida law last month included a ban on forcing children to declare “preferred pronouns” in school, restrictions on drag shows targeting children, requirements that students use bathrooms associated with their birth gender, and a prohibition on using state funds to pay for gender-affirming care even for adults.