A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a
first-of-its-kind Arkansas law that bans gender-affirming care for
The law was set to take effect on
Wednesday, July 28.
U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr., an
Obama appointee, ruled from the bench after hearing oral arguments in
a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Brandt et
al v. Rutledge et al, are four transgender youth and their
families and two doctors.
“Today’s victory is a testament to
the trans youth of Arkansas and their allies, who never gave up the
fight to protect access to gender-affirming care and who will
continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their
authentic selves, free from discrimination,” said Holly Dickson,
executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “We won’t rest until
this cruel and unconstitutional law is struck down for good.”
Under the law, doctors are prohibited
from providing gender reassignment surgery, hormones, or puberty
blockers to minors. Doctors who violate the law can be sued for
damages or professionally sanctioned.
Transgender advocates point out that
surgery is generally not an option for minors.
Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican,
vetoed the bill, known as House Bill 1570, in March but lawmakers
overwhelmingly overrode his decision.