CINCINNATI (WJHL) — Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors will remain in effect thanks to a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday.
Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed a law banning medical professionals from administering care such as puberty blockers, hormone treatment, or surgeries to transgender minors.
In April, a lawsuit seeking to block the law was filed against the state on behalf of a Nashville teenager and two anonymous families.
A request for a preliminary injunction was granted by a lower court in June, which blocked part of the law just days before it was set to go into effect. However, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily lifted the injunction the following month, allowing the law to take effect.
Thursday’s ruling by the court officially reversed the initial preliminary injunction.
In a statement, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti called the decision “a big win for democracy.”
“Decisions that are not clearly resolved by the Constitution should be resolved by the people through their elected representatives,” Skremmitti said. “I am so proud of our team who stood strong against the overwhelming resources arrayed against Tennessee in this case.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal criticized the latest ruling. They issued a joint statement Thursday night:
“This is a devastating result for transgender youth and their families in Tennessee and across the region. The disastrous impact of Tennessee’s law and all others like it has already been felt in thousands of homes and communities. Denying transgender youth equality before the law and needlessly withholding the necessary medical care their families and their doctors know is right for them has caused and will continue to cause serious harm. We are assessing our next steps and will take further action in defense of our clients and the constitutional rights of transgender people in Tennessee and across the country.”Joint statement by Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Tennessee, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
In May, the U.S. Department of Justice also filed a lawsuit against the state over the new law, claiming it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.