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Federal judge halts Biden’s new Title IX gender identity protections rule

transgender teen doctor visit
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The judge said the lawsuit challenging the new rule was likely to win at trial.

A federal judge on Wednesday stopped enforcement of the Biden administration’s new Title IX rule banning discrimination based on gender identity in healthcare as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, Reuters reported.

Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola in Gulfport, Miss., halted enforcement of the new rule in the 15 states that had filed a lawsuit in federal court. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit included the Attorneys General of 15 Republican-controlled states, Moms for Liberty, Young America’s Foundation, and Female Athletes United.

“Consequently, this Court cannot accept the suggestion that Congress, with a ‘clear voice,’ adopted an ambiguous or evolving definition of ‘sex’ when it acted to promote educational opportunities for women in 1972,” Guirola wrote in his 31-page ruling.

“This ruling is not only morally wrong, it’s also bad policy,” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement following the ruling. “Everyone deserves access to the medical care they need to be healthy and thrive.”

Guirola ruled against the new rule on multiple grounds, including that the department did not have the authority to write the rule and that the rule violated the spirit and intent of the original text. He also found the suit would likely succeed on the merits.

The injunction only applies to recipients of federal funds in the plaintiff states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. The plaintiffs had sought a nationwide ban.

“Today a federal court said no to the Biden administration's attempt to illegally force every health care provider in America to adopt the most extreme version of gender ideology,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement.

The judge’s decision comes on the heels of the Texas Supreme Court refusing to block the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors, allowing the ban to remain in effect while a lawsuit against it proceeds.

The court ruled that the organizations challenging the ban are unlikely to succeed in their case.

“We conclude the Legislature made a permissible, rational policy choice to limit the types of available medical procedures for children, particularly in light of the relative nascency of both gender dysphoria and its various modes of treatment and the Legislature’s express constitutional authority to regulate the practice of medicine,” Justice Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle wrote for the 8-1 court majority.

“The Texas Supreme Court got it wrong today by ruling against families, against doctors, and against Texas’s future: our kids. Every Texan, transgender or not, deserves the freedom to access the health care they need when they need it,” Brian K. Bond, CEO of PFLAG National, one of the organizational plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement. “To transgender Texans of all ages, PFLAG has your back. We’re going to continue to fight to ensure you are safe, celebrated, affirmed, and loved.”

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