Federal judges block trans-health and sports activities bans in Arkansas and West Virginia

Two recently passed laws restricting trans teenagers’ access to health care and exercise were blocked by federal judges Wednesday.

Arkansas’ HB 1570, passed earlier this year, prohibits transitional care for trans minors, prohibits doctors from performing gender-specific hormone therapy, puberty blockers, or surgery on anyone under the age of 18, and prevents doctors from referring young people to other providers for treatment. It was the first such state law in the United States

HB 1570 will now not take effect on July 28th while the ACLU’s lawsuit is pending on behalf of a group of trans teenagers. Chase Strangio, assistant director of transgender justice for the ACLU’s LGBTQ and HIV project, said in a statement: “This victory belongs to Dylan, Brooke, Sabrina and Paxton and other trans youth in Arkansas who have spoken out about the damage by this law. Our work in Arkansas and across the country is far from over – even with this law. “

Another federal court temporarily blocked the entry into force of HB 3293 in West Virginia, which bans all transgender athletes in middle school, high school and college from participating in women’s sports across the state. Republican Governor Jim Justice “proudly” signed the bill in April. The temporary suspension means 11-year-old plaintiff Becky Pepper-Jackson is allowed to try out at her school for the girls’ cross-country and track teams. In a statement, Pepper-Jackson said she was excited to be able to do this, “and step into my family’s running shoes. It hurt that the state of West Virginia would try to prevent me from realizing my dreams. I just want to Play.”

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