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Families Seek to Block Florida's New Ban on Gender-Affirming Care

Families Seek to Block Florida's New Ban on Gender-Affirming Care

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Some families had already sued over medical boards' rules against the care, and now those rules have been written into state law.

Florida families are seeking to block enforcement of the state’s newly signed law banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

The families have added a challenge to Senate Bill 254 to a pending lawsuit against the bans issued by the state’s Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine and are seeking an emergency order blocking both, according to a press release from the organizations representing them. Three families this week joined four who filed the original suit against the medical boards’ rules in March; the Florida legislature has now written those rules into a state law, signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday.

The new law also restricts some gender-affirming treatment for adults. It requires them to meet in person, not through telemedicine, with a doctor and not another medical professional in order to receive the care.

The families are represented by Southern Legal Counsel, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Human Rights Campaign, which issued the following statement:

“This is a state of emergency for Florida parents, who are already being forced to watch their kids suffer rather than get them the safe and effective healthcare they need and that will allow them to thrive. … Governor DeSantis doubled down on the nightmare created by the Florida Boards of Medicine rules by signing SB 254 into law.

“This law ignores science, unconstitutionally inserts the state into family privacy and parental decision-making, deliberately provokes family conflict by inviting challenges to established custody orders, and tramples on the rights and wellbeing of transgender adolescents.

“We are asking the court to take swift action to block the ban on access to essential healthcare in SB 254, as well as the Boards of Medicine bans, to stop further harm to transgender youth and their families while the plaintiffs’ case continues.”

Arguments in the case took place Friday before Judge Robert Hinkle in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. It’s unknown when he will rule on the restraining order, the Associated Press reports.

“My hope is that what it means for these adolescents is that they will very quickly be able to be moving forward in getting the care that they need, but the judge is going to set the time frame for that,” attorney Jennifer Levi of GLAD told the AP.

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