LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Federal Judge in Kentucky’s west district today ruled to stay the preliminary injunction in Doe v Thornbury, the case regarding medically necessary care for transgender youth in Kentucky. The judge’s ruling came at the request of Kentucky’s Attorney General and means the portion of the law that was originally set to take effect June 29, is now in effect.
“While we strongly disagree with this opinion, it is only in effect while our appeal is pending in front of the Sixth Circuit,” said Corey Shapiro, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky. “It is not the final word, and we remain optimistic that with a full briefing we will achieve a positive result.”
Banning essential medical care for transgender youth in Kentucky is harmful, discriminatory, and egregious government overreach. There is no reason to single out this well-established care simply because it is provided to transgender youth and doing so—as the federal district court found, based on extensive evidence—puts them at risk of serious harms. Lawmakers have no place inserting themselves into the personal medical decisions of families of transgender youth and their health care providers, and by doing so, they are violating the fundamental rights and freedoms of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.
“Six federal district court judges have ruled on challenges to medical bans, including Kentucky’s. Each one has listened carefully to the evidence and found that these bans have no basis in medical science, discriminate against transgender youth, and cause serious harms by denying medically needed care,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the ACLU of Kentucky’s co-counsel in the case. “We are hopeful that when the Sixth Circuit reviews the record and has the benefit of full briefing in this case, it will reach the same conclusion.”
The Kentucky case has been consolidated with Tennessee’s, and both cases will now proceed under expedited review. This is a temporary setback, but it is not the end of the fight. The ACLU of Kentucky and our co-counsel NCLR remain committed to protecting the civil liberties of ALL Kentuckians. Legislators have no place in Kentuckians’ personal medical decisions, and we will continue to fight for equal rights and equal protection under the law.
The Plaintiffs in the case are seven transgender youth and their families, represented by the ACLU of Kentucky, NCLR, and Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius LLP.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislature and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms. For additional information, visit our website at: www.aclu-ky.org.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org.