A federal judge on Tuesday proclaimed “gender identity is real” in an order that partially blocks Florida’s restrictions on “gender-affirming” care for minors.
Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law that restricts “gender-affirming” care for children, among other things.
The law prohibits the use of GnRN agonists, known as puberty blockers, to “stop or delay normal puberty in order to affirm a person’s perception of his or her sex if that perception is inconsistent with the person’s [natal] sex.” The legislation also prohibits cross-sex hormones “to affirm a person’s perception of his or her sex if that perception is inconsistent with the person’s [natal] sex.”
“Florida is proud to lead the way in standing up for our children,” DeSantis said when he signed the bill. “As the world goes mad, Florida represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy.”
However, seven parents of transgender children amended their lawsuit seeking to block the new law once DeSantis signed the bill. Four of the children involved do not need immediate care, according to their doctors, but one child’s doctor said puberty blockers are needed “now, without delay,” and doctors for the other two children said they’ll need this treatment “soon.”
With the preliminary injunction on Tuesday, Judge Robert Hinkle, a Clinton appointee, will allow the three children to continue receiving “gender-affirming” treatment, saying they would “suffer irreparable harm” if not allowed to continue access to the hormones and puberty blockers.
As Hinke wrote:
If the three plaintiffs at issue here do not start GnRH agonists soon, they will go through puberty consistent with their natal sex. They will live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. The likelihood is very high that they will suffer attendant adverse mental-health consequences. If, on the other hand, they do get GnRH agonists, they will avoid some of the adverse consequences. They also will face attendant risks.
In the 44-page ruling, Hinkle emphasized that “gender identity is real.”
“The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset. Gender identity is real,” he wrote.
Those whose gender identity does not match their natal sex often suffer gender dysphoria. The widely accepted standard of care calls for evaluation and treatment by a multidisciplinary team. Proper treatment begins with mental-health therapy and is followed in appropriate cases by GnRH agonists and cross-sex hormones. Florida has adopted a statute and rules that prohibit these treatments even when medically appropriate. The plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that the prohibition is unconstitutional. And they have met the other prerequisites to a preliminary injunction.
Hinkle’s ruling leaves intact the portion of Florida’s law that prohibits “gender-affirming” surgeries.
In his order, Hinkle criticized Florida for relying on the expertise of a doctor who has not performed “gender-affirming surgery.”
“Another defense expert, Dr. Patrick Lappert—a surgeon who has never performed gender-affirming surgery— said in a radio interview that gender-affirming care is a ‘lie,’ a ‘moral violation,’ a ‘huge evil,’ and ‘diabolical,’” Hinkle wrote. “State employees or consultants suggested treatment of transgender individuals is either a ‘woke idea’ or profiteering by the pharmaceutical industry or doctors.”
The judge also claimed Florida’s law was “motivated in substantial part by the plainly illegitimate purposes of disapproving transgender status and discouraging individuals from pursuing their honest gender identities.”
Hinkle also cited, “substantial bigotry directed at transgender individuals,” and referenced state Rep. Webster Barnaby’s (R) use of the words “mutants” and “demons” during a legislative hearing on a bill.
“And 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. This is, as noted above, the elephant in the room,” Hinkle added.
Interestingly, Hinkle said he “doubts these treatments are available in Iran or other similarly repressive regimes,” despite Iran being the only Islamic country where “gender-affirming” surgeries are recognized.
DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern noted the preliminary injunction “is extremely limited in scope” because it only applies to the three children seeking “gender-affirming” care.
“In this case, a single judge has decided that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones should be made available to three young children,” the spokesman said. “Florida’s law otherwise remains in effect.”
“We obviously disagree with the judge’s ruling,” he added. “We will continue fighting against the rogue elements in the medical establishment that push ideology over evidence and protect against mutilating our kids.”
The case is Doe v. Ladapo, No. 4:23cv114-RH-MAF, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.