Supreme Court will hear Tennessee gender-affirming care ban case

Published 3:03 pm Monday, June 24, 2024

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By Jon Styff

The Center Square

The U.S. Supreme Court said it plans to take up a case related to Tennessee’s Senate Bill 1, which prohibits gender-affirming surgeries for minors.

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July 2023 ruling from the Sixth District U.S. Court of Appeals allowed the law to take effect.

Now, the appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court after the court granted centiorari Monday.

“We fought hard to defend Tennessee’s law protecting kids from irreversible gender treatments and secured a thoughtful and well-reasoned opinion from the Sixth Circuit,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement. “I look forward to finishing the fight in the United States Supreme Court. This case will bring much-needed clarity to whether the Constitution contains special protections for gender identity.”

The law blocks health care providers from performing gender-affirming surgeries on minors or administering hormones or puberty blockers to minors.

The law went to court after three transgender minors, their parents and a doctor sued several state officials saying the law violates the United States Constitution’s due process and equal protection.

The Campaign for Southern Equality said it believes the case will likely be heard in the fall, with a decision expected by the spring or early summer of 2025.

“This is a high-stakes moment for transgender youth and their families, and we’re glad that trans youth and their families will have their day in court to make the case that the bans are unconstitutional, interfere with private medical decisions, and severely harm families,” Campaign for Southern Equality Director of Impact & Innovation Allison Scott said. “Everyone who needs gender-affirming care should be able to access it affordably, and close to home, and our team will never stop working to make that happen.”

The group estimates 38% of transgender youth in the United States – and 93% of trans youth in Southern states – live in a state that has passed a ban.