In a ruling that marks another strike against queer youth in the United States, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, ruled in favor of Tennessee’s blanket ban on gender-affirming care for minors, which is in contrast to decisions made by other appeals courts which ruled in favor of transgender patients.
According to the ruling, this lawsuit against the state was brought by “three transgender minors, their parents, and a doctor” arguing that this law violated the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. Notably, this was the same argument used to successfully overturn Arkansas’s ban.
This ruling cites anti-trans legislation from other states as evidence in support of this law, including Georgia’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors. They claim that “the medical and regulatory authorities are not of one mind about using hormone therapy to treat gender dysphoria.” However, most legitimate medical organizations endorse the use of hormone therapy in transgender patients, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. It also mentions that the Supreme Court has not recognized transgender status as a protected class, which means that the standards needed to prove unconstitutional discrimination are higher.
Concluding the ruling, they state that “not every choice is for judges to make” and “elected representatives made these precise cost-benefit decisions.” The ruling also determines that it is within the public interest for the state to “protect its children from health risks.”