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Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky Law Barring Sex Change Surgeries

Court agrees with plaintiffs that the law violates 14th Amendment protections of the Contitution

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Kentucky bill that would prohibit sex change procedures for minors, arguing that the legislation violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

Kentucky Senate Bill 150 bars health care providers from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone therapies (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone) in amounts greater than would normally be produced, and sterilizing surgeries (ie: castrations, hysterectomies) to individuals under the age of 18.

The legislation also prohibits surgeries that would change the sex of a minor, specifically “any surgery that artificially constructs tissue having the appearance of genitalia differing from the minor’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty; or [that would] remove any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.”

The bill also prevents schools from requiring school personnel or students from using gender pronouns that do not align with a student’s biological sex, as well as prevents schools from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation with students of any age.

U.S. District Judge David J. Hale, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, agreed with the plaintiffs in his ruling that the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.

“Based on the evidence submitted, the Court finds that the treatments barred by SB 150 are medically appropriate and necessary for some transgender children under the evidence-based standard of care accepted by all major medical organizations in the United States,” Hale wrote.

“These drugs have a long history of safe use in minors for various conditions,” he added. “It is undisputed that puberty-blockers and hormones are not given to prepubertal children with gender dysphoria.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the bill this spring, stating at the time that it would endanger the children in his state.

“Senate Bill 150 allows too much government interference in personal healthcare issues and rips away the freedom of parents to make medical decisions for their children,” he said in a statement at the time.

At least 20 states have passed legislation that restrict or outright ban sex change procedures for minors, with most facing legal challenges to those bills.

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