Kentucky and Tennessee laws protecting minors upheld

CINCINNATI, OH – The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 [Sept. 28] to enforce laws protecting gender-confused minors in Kentucky and Tennessee from receiving puberty blockers, hormones, and medical mutilating surgery.

 In L.W. v. Skrmetti and Doe v. Thornbury, the Sixth Circuit reversed a preliminary injunction and rejected a challenge by families of gender-confused children who had argued that the previous bans discriminated on the basis of sex.

In Kentucky, SB 150 bans puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and mutilating surgeries for minors and allows a person to bring civil action against health care providers, or a person subjected to violations of the law as a minor may bring civil action until they reach 30 years of age.

In Tennessee, SB 1 bans puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and mutilating surgeries for minors. It also allows a minor injured by violations, or the parent of the minor, to bring civil action against health care providers up until 30 years after the minor reaches 18 years of age.

Both the Tennessee and Kentucky bans were blocked by trial court judges, but the Sixth Circuit allowed Tennessee’s ban to take effect in July while it considered the state’s appeal.

The ruling is the second by a federal appeals court upholding such laws, after the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that Alabama can fully enforce its 2022 law banning harmful puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and mutilating surgeries for children. Alabama’s “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” one of the most protective laws of its type in the nation, makes providing any of these procedures to minors a felony. The Appeals Court ruling only vacates the district court’s preliminary injunction while the legal challenge continues at the district court level. The district judge has scheduled a trial date for the case set to begin on April 2, 2024 to decide whether to permanently block or keep the law.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The Sixth Circuit has rightly ruled that Kentucky and Tennessee are free to protect children from these horrible procedures that have devastated many young lives. Our children are not social experiments.”

For more information about state laws protecting against gender ideology, visit Liberty Counsel’s website here.