June 12, 2024

In his 105-page order striking down what the Tampa Bay Times called “a signature priority” of Gov. Ron DeSantis, Judge Robert Hinkle wrote that the bill was clearly motivated by “anti-transgender animus.”

More from the Tampa Bay Times:

Along with striking down the rules banning kids with gender dysphoria from accessing medical treatment, Hinkle also struck down rules that required transgender adults to only get medical treatment from physicians, instead of from other kinds of health providers.

Hinkle last year also struck down Florida’s ban on Medicaid covering treatments for gender dysphoria. The state is appealing that ruling, and opponents have argued that the state has been defying Hinkle’s order and still denying Medicaid coverage.

Major medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics support children using treatments like puberty blockers for gender dysphoria. Hinkle said in his ruling that “not a single reputable medical association” has flatly opposed using puberty blockers and hormone therapy in appropriate circumstances.

If the state truly believed that gender dysphoria was being improperly treated in Florida, “despite the absence of complaints and despite the state’s inability, even now, to find a single adversely affected Florida patient,” they could have restricted or regulated care without banning it, Hinkle wrote in his order.

Hinkle also likened transphobia to racism and misogyny, as the Florida Phoenix noted:

“Some transgender opponents invoke religion to support their position, just as some once invoked religion to support their racism or misogyny,” Hinkle wrote. “Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender. In time, discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish, just as racism and misogyny have diminished.”

Not surprisingly, DeSantis’ press secretary said the governor will appeal the decision.

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