Judge temporarily blocks part of Georgia law restricting treatment of transgender children – WABE

This story was updated at 3:09 p.m

A federal judge has temporarily blocked part of Georgia’s SB 140, which banned transgender children from starting hormone replacement therapy starting July 1.

The injunction prevents the state from enforcing legal restrictions on hormone therapy while a dispute over SB 140 is heard in court.

Georgia’s ban on gender-affirming surgeries for transgender minors, another component of SB 140, remains in effect.

In an 83-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Sarah Geraghty wrote that the restrictions on hormone therapy likely violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating against transgender children.

Geraghty also found that the plaintiffs, including three transgender children, face “serious and irreparable” harm without an injunction allowing them to access the treatments prescribed by their doctors.

A spokesman for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr responded to the ruling late Monday afternoon.

“We are disappointed in the judge’s decision and plan to file an immediate appeal to protect the health and well-being of Georgia children,” Kara Richardson said in a statement.

“We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that parents can make important decisions for their children and that transgender people continue to have access to the health care they deserve,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote in a statement. “We hope that the strong rejection of this harmful, prejudicial law will bring an end to the relentless attacks on the rights of transgender youth and their families.”

“The federal judge confirms what so many families and transgender youth have said all along: that health care bans are harmful, dangerous, discriminatory and illegal,” Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said in a statement. “We hope that this loss and its reverberations across the country, as well as the overwhelming public opposition, will lead to no further anti-transgender legislative action when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.”

Georgia Republicans passed SB 140 in March amid protests from transgender children, their families and most Democrats. The Republican sponsors said their goal was to prevent children from receiving treatments they might later regret.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that physicians provide age-appropriate and gender-affirming care.

Federal judges have blocked all or part of similar laws in several states, and an Arkansas court struck down the ban in June.

This is a developing story.