A judge on Tuesday struck down the state of Florida's ability to enforce its newly passed ban on transgender healthcare, marking a rare victory for the trans community in the Sunshine State. U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Hinkle was sharply critical of the DeSantis-backed legislation in his ruling.
The primary defendants in the case were Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, the Florida Board of Medicine, and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine. Judge Hinkle granted a preliminary injunction against these parties on behalf of the plaintiffs, parents of transgender youth.
Part of the ruling held that the onset of puberty in accordance to the youths' natural-born sex will cause "irreparable harm" if they are not allowed to receive treatment in accordance with their gender identity. It was not a concept Hinkle shied away from, stating definitively that "gender identity is real".
"The treatment will affect the patients themselves, nobody else," Judge Hinkle said, "and will cause the defendants no harm". He also implied in his ruling that Florida's law runs afoul of the Constitution.
The main effect of the ruling: a ban by the state on hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and other related care can no longer be enforced. Pending potential further legal action by the state, transgender patients have at least momentarily averted a policy which would considerably limit their medical options.
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