Appeals court keeps Kentucky’s ban on gender-affirming for minors in effect
A new federal ruling ensures gender-affirming hormone therapy will remain inaccessible to transgender minors in Kentucky while a lawsuit over it continues.
A wide range of major medical associations agree: Trans youth should be able to access gender-affirming hormone therapy, including estrogen or testosterone treatments and medication that delays puberty.
However, the Republican-led Kentucky Legislature, like many other states this year, prohibited those treatments for trans people under 18 years old.
Earlier court decisions allowed the ban to take effect in July and to remain in effect since then.
Thursday night’s 2-1 ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals officially keeps the ban in place until the lawsuit over it is resolved.
Specifically, the court reversed an injunction granted in June by U.S. District Judge David Hale. Hale himself put a pause on that in July after the 6th Circuit ruled against a similar request to block a Tennessee law. In his decision, Hale said the 6th Circuit was likely to rule against the Kentucky plaintiffs.
That’s exactly what the court ended up doing Thursday night.
In the ruling, the 6th Circuit did not find that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of the case. That’s a key consideration for courts when deciding whether to grant a preliminary injunction that would block a law until a lawsuit against it is decided.
The plaintiffs in the Kentucky lawsuit include several trans kids and their families, as well as the ACLU of Kentucky.
Copyright 2023 Louisville Public Media. To see more, visit Louisville Public Media.