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Supreme Court Greenlights Idaho’s Oppressive Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

Supreme Court Allows Idaho to Enforce Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

In a controversial decision, the United States Supreme Court has allowed the state of Idaho to temporarily enforce a ban on life-saving gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary youth.


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The Ruling and Its Implications

The 2023 law in Idaho made it a felony to provide gender-affirming care for minors. However, in June of that year, two transgender teenagers and their families sued the state over the law. In December 2023, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the state could not enforce the ban during the legal challenge.

Now, the Supreme Court’s ruling has reversed that decision, only blocking enforcement for the plaintiffs but allowing the ban to go into effect during the case. This means that transgender and non-binary youth in Idaho may be denied access to critical, life-saving medical treatments.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to allow Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth is a devastating blow to the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable young people in the state,” said JoYvette, a senior policy analyst at the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Federation.

The Reaction from Advocacy Groups

LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have strongly condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling. The decision comes just weeks after LGBTQ+ protesters covered the Idaho State Capitol with tens of thousands of paper hearts in protest of the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

“This ruling exposes vulnerable children to dangerous and unnecessary medical procedures, and infringes on Idaho’s sovereign power to enforce its democratically enacted law,” the state argued in its filing to the Supreme Court.

However, critics argue that the law is a blatant attack on the rights and wellbeing of transgender and non-binary youth.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to allow Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth is a devastating blow to the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable young people in the state,” said Jo Yvette, a senior policy analyst at the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Federation.

The Ongoing Legal Battle

The legal battle over Idaho’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors is far from over. The two transgender teenagers and their families who filed the initial lawsuit will continue to fight the law in court.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Idaho to enforce its harmful and unconstitutional ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth during the ongoing legal challenge,” said Liam Connors, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho.

“This decision will have devastating consequences for trans young people in Idaho who will now be denied access to essential, life-saving medical care. We will continue to fight this harmful law in court and do everything in our power to protect the rights and wellbeing of transgender Idahoans.”

The Impact on Transgender Youth

The decision to allow Idaho’s ban to go into effect during the legal challenge is a major blow to the transgender and non-binary youth in the state. Access to gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgery, is crucial for the physical and mental health of transgender individuals.

“Gender-affirming care is not only life-saving, but it’s also the standard of care recognized by every major medical association,” said Dr. Avery Himes, a pediatric endocrinologist and member of the Endocrine Society. “Denying this care to trans youth can have serious, long-term consequences on their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Experts argue that the lack of access to gender-affirming care can lead to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among transgender youth.

“This ruling by the Supreme Court is a devastating setback for the rights and wellbeing of transgender young people in Idaho,” said Jo Yvette. “It’s a stark reminder that the fight for LGBTQ+ equality is far from over, and we must continue to stand up for the rights and dignity of all members of our community.”

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