Judges Block Transgender Care Bans for Minors in Kentucky and Tennessee


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Federal judges in two states intervened on Wednesday to temporarily block laws that would ban gender-transition care for minors, the latest instances where legislation targeting transgender people have been halted by the judiciary.

The separate rulings in Kentucky and Tennessee came days before key provisions of the laws were set to go into effect, amid a wave of legislation aimed at curbing L.G.B.T.Q. rights that has cleared Republican-controlled legislatures across the country this year. Several of those laws either remain tangled in legal battles, or have been ruled unconstitutional by federal judges.

In the first decision released on Wednesday, Judge David J. Hale of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky temporarily blocked part of a Kentucky law that would ban the prescription and administration of puberty blockers and hormone therapy, allowing health care options for transgender youth to remain available in the state while the litigation continues. Most of the bill took effect immediately, but some provisions were set to go into effect on Thursday.

Hours later, Judge Eli J. Richardson of the Middle District of Tennessee made a similar decision to temporarily preserve access to such treatment in the state, days before the law was set to go into effect on Saturday.


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