Judge reverses his ruling that blocked law on gender-affirming care, citing 2-1 ruling of appeals court handling similar cases

By Sarah Ladd
Kentucky Lantern

A federal judge on Friday stayed a temporary block on part of a new Kentucky law that banned gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors.

That means Kentucky’s transgender children are now banned from receiving hormone treatments, a move celebrated by Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who requested the reversal.

Corey Shapiro, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, gave the other side: “While we strongly disagree with this opinion, it is only in effect while our appeal is pending in front of the Sixth Circuit. It is not the final word, and we remain optimistic that with a full briefing we will achieve a positive result.”

In late June, U.S. District Judge David Hale sided with the ACLU of Kentucky in temporarily blocking the part of Senate Bill 150 that banned certain health-care options, such as puberty blockers, for transgender minors.

Last week a panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, overturned a similar district court ruling in Tennessee, allowing that state’s ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors to take effect.

Hale, an appointee of Barack Obama, based his latest decision on the appeals court ruling in the Tennessee case.

Cameron, who is running for governor, said in a statement that the ruling was a “win for parents and children.” He also criticized the “influences of leftist activists.”

“Moving forward, my office will continue to defend Senate Bill 150 and stand up for the right of children to be children,” Cameron said.

State Sen. Max Wise, who sponsored SB 150, also celebrated the court’s decision.

“I’m pleased to know the holistic well-being of Kentucky’s transgender children, at least for now, will be fully considered,” said Wise, a Republican from Campbellsville.

Rebecca Blankenship, executive director of Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky, and Michael Frazier, its government-affairs director, said in a joint statement that the decision marks “an extremely difficult moment” for the state’s trans children.

The decision, they said, “was a lost battle, but not the end of the war in this case or the broader fight to protect Kentucky’s kids.”

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