A federal judge in Florida has issued a preliminary injunction allowing three transgender children to receive puberty blockers. This decision comes as the state has banned gender-affirming care for minors. The three youths, who are the children of the plaintiffs in the case, may receive GnRH agonists, known as puberty blockers. The suit challenges legislation in Florida that bans gender-affirming care for minors, which Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law in May.
Medical Treatment is Necessary
Doctors for one of the children say that the medical treatment is required right away, while the doctors for the other two say they’ll need these GnRH agonists “soon,” according to the injunction. Judge Robert Hinkle stated in his decision that the plaintiffs’ adolescent children would suffer irreparable harm if they do not promptly begin treatment with GnRH agonists. The treatment will affect the patients themselves, nobody else, and will cause the defendants no harm.
Defendants in the Case
The defendants in this case include Florida’s surgeon general, board of medicine, board of osteopathic medicine, attorney general and each of Florida’s 20 state attorneys. Governor Ron DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
LGBTQ+ Rights and Access to Care
This decision takes place amid a politically fraught environment for LGBTQ+ people. According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 525 bills targeting these individuals were introduced in 41 states during the 2023 state legislative session. More than 220 of these measures were focused on transgender people. The organization estimates that more than 30% of transgendered youth ages 13 to 17 reside in states where they can’t access care. Thus far, 20 states have passed laws or policy that ban gender-affirming care for individuals up to age 18, the HRC found.
The decision of Judge Robert Hinkle to allow three transgender children to receive puberty blockers is a landmark ruling in a state where gender-affirming care for minors is banned. The ruling highlights the importance of access to care for transgender youth and the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.