Parents of transgender kids battle Ron DeSantis in court

Judge Robert Hinkle
Judge Hinkle heard arguments Friday in Tallahassee.

The parents of three transgender children in Florida are trying to get a federal judge to block a new law that bans gender-affirming care for minors, a signature policy of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as he nears his presidential campaign.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on Friday heard arguments from an attorney representing the three families in a case that argues they are being stripped of the right to make medical decisions for their children.

DeSantis has curtailed transgender medical treatments for minors in the state — often describing the issue in terms that are at odds with the nation’s major medical associations — as he leans into cultural divides that animate the Republican base ahead of his anticipated presidential run.

Florida’s law, signed this week by DeSantis, prohibits the prescription of puberty-blocking, hormone and hormone antagonist therapies to treat gender dysphoria in minors. It also bans gender-affirming medical procedures or surgeries for minors.

The law also bans the use of state money for gender-affirming care and places new restrictions on adults seeking treatment. Among those restrictions are a requirement that people meet face to face with a doctor — not a nurse or nurse practitioner — and not through telemedicine. Private organizations that provide such care could be risking any state funding they receive.

Transgender medical treatment for children and teenagers has increasingly been subject to restrictions or outright bans from Republicans across the country.

The parents did not appear in court Friday. It is unclear when the judge could issue a ruling on their request to block the law. Attorney Jennifer Levi said the law is discriminatory against transgender people and hopes the judge moves quickly.

“My hope is that what it means for these adolescents is that they will very quickly be able to be moving forward in getting the care that they need, but the judge is going to set the timeframe for that,” Levi said.

Associated Press


  • SophiaLoren

    May 20, 2023 at 1:24 pm

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  • Michael K

    May 20, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    Picking on some of the most vulnerable people in our society just to gin up the hate and bigotry just to gain a vote or two. These three families could teach our governor and his small-minded minions a lot about love, compassion and the true meaning of family. But for our governor, cruelty is the whole point – cheap personal political gain at the expense of real human suffering.

    I hope the parents prevail, and I applaud their courage. And I hope their children know that there is a welcome place in the world for them.

  • Ian

    May 21, 2023 at 8:40 am

    From the article:
    “Florida’s law, signed this week by DeSantis, prohibits the prescription of puberty-blocking, hormone and hormone antagonist therapies to treat gender dysphoria in minors.”

    The excerpt above fails a fact-check. The law says minors who were previously prescribed these therapies and who were taking these prescriptions when the law was enacted are allowed to continue the therapies. Why would the AP omit this fact?

    • Bob

      May 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      The law says they have to “wean” themselves off the medications. Again, the lawmakers are trying to be pseudo scientists without consulting the people that have the knowledge.

      • Ian

        May 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm

        Bob, you are incorrect. The law says nothing about “weaning.”

        If you feel certain about your position, please point out where in the law it says anything about “weaning.” Educate me.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 22, 2023 at 2:15 pm

      Because those are refills but the law and the story are about writing prescriptions. Regardless, Ron DeSantis is Florida’s doctor now. He’s meddled so much in medical care that sane doctors (and teachers but that’s another story) are Fleeing the New Hampshire known as Florida where Ron DeSantis is Governor and the state motto is “Leave Flee or Die”

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 21, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Attention America,
    This is an A. P. story which means it is 99.99% a pack of shamefull lues.
    If your comments indicate you believe A. P. Stories than shame on you because you are a hopeless dook 4 brains leftie and will NOT be allowed to join my, Earl Pitts Amrican’s, Fan Club.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Margaret Chrisawn

    May 21, 2023 at 10:53 am

    The original AP story, and several others by Reuters, Politico, NPR, and local outlets, all included this: ” The only exception to the prohibition is for patients who commenced any prescriptions or procedures prior to or on the date of when the proposed law is signed. In these cases, the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine must adopt emergency rules dictating the required informed consent requirements from the patient’s parent or legal guardian and the provision of professional counseling services by a psychiatrist or psychologist for the patient. Willful violation of this law by a health care practitioner will be considered a felony of the third degree.”

    Not everything goes into one of these FLPolitics stories. Folks who really care about issues generally do their own due diligence, and perhaps even read the bill itself.

    • Michael K

      May 21, 2023 at 2:59 pm

      So, anyone wanting this treatment, say six months from now, is denied. Your citation is only for people already under treatment.

Comments are closed.


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