LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed the preliminary injunction decision in Doe v. Thornbury, our case regarding medically necessary care for transgender youth in Kentucky. The ban on this care in Kentucky remains in effect.
“Transgender youth in Kentucky and their families should be the only people making private decisions about their health care,” said Corey Shapiro, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky. “We’re disappointed with the court’s ruling. The majority ignored the extensive evidence from the actual medical experts and the trial court who all agreed that this care is medically necessary, effective, and appropriate. While it is disheartening that the panel believes it is constitutional for the government to prohibit transgender youth from accessing such necessary health care, this is only a temporary setback. We will continue fighting to restore that care permanently in the commonwealth."
“Today’s decision is disappointing and difficult to square with Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit cases holding that parents have both a duty and a right to safeguard their children’s health,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). “This is a serious blow to one of the most cherished principles of our legal system, which is that parents, not government officials, should make medical decisions for their children.”
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 violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of parents to direct the upbringing of their children and put trans youth at risk of severe harm.
After the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 150, we filed Doe v. Thornbury alongside co-counsel at NCLR, and Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius LLP on behalf of seven transgender youth in Kentucky and their families. Medically necessary care for transgender youth has been inaccessible in Kentucky since the ban outlined in Senate Bill 150 went into effect on July 14. In July, Doe v. Thornbury was consolidated with a similar case in Tennessee for consideration at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ACLU of Kentucky and our co-counsel 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 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.