Another Defeat for DeSantis and A Win For Trans Health

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ anti-trans agenda was dealt a blow in federal court this week. 

On June 11, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle struck down much of a Florida law targeting trans youth and adults. Bans on gender-affirming care are unconstitutional. So are other obstacles to care, such as requiring patients to see a doctor and paperwork deemed medically unnecessary.

“The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset. Gender identity is real,” wrote U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on June 11.

The news was enthusiastically welcomed by South Florida’s LGBTQ community.

Adrianna Tender, Vice President of the Dolphin Democrats, said, “Florida's ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender minors and certain adults is a landmark victory for the transgender community.”

The text of the ruling reads like the legal equivalent of smack talk.

Hinkle wrote the law targets transgender individuals specifically, “This statute and these rules apply only to transgenders. If the proper inquiry was only the Legislature and boards acted to ban or restrict treatment of transgenders, the answer would obviously be: they did.”

Hinkle goes on to “say the quiet part out loud.”

The ruling calls out the state for using openly anti-trans rhetoric in public debate and says the law’s language only looks neutral.

“There has long been, and still is, substantial bigotry directed at transgender individuals. Common experience confirms this, as do some of the comments of legislators recounted above.”

Hinkle went on to admonish those who “sincerely believe” trans is wrong despite all evidence to the contrary.

“Even when not based on bigotry, there are those who incorrectly but sincerely believe that gender identity is not real but instead just a choice.”

He went on to compare historical equivalents including racial discrimination. The same excuses have been given by bigots for decades, and Hinkle pointed it out.

“Some legislators plainly acted from old-fashioned animus. A House member, for example, loudly referred to transgender witnesses ... as ‘mutants’ and ‘demons.’ This is direct evidence of that member’s animus.”

Hinkle had a litany of examples.

“Other House members, the governor, and the [Florida] Surgeon General have said there is no such thing as transgender identity - that transgender identity is just ideological or made up or wokeism.”

A ban on gender-affirming surgery for trans youth was not at issue. However, DeSantis’ efforts to make it seem like children are being anesthetized and mutilated throughout Florida was called out as a blatant scare tactic.

“The [state] admitted there was absolutely no factual basis for these remarks, that the record contained no evidence that any Florida child had ever been castrated or mutilated. The [bill’s] sponsor just made it up.”

The DeSantis administration says it will appeal the case. Click here to read the ruling.

“The ruling sets a positive legal precedent against discriminatory laws and promotes reliance on credible medical research,” Tender said. “By contributing to the broader fight for LGBTQ+ equality, this decision fosters a more inclusive society and provides hope that justice will prevail for transgender individuals everywhere.”

DeSantisTransHealth

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