Listen to this article here
Lawyers representing Oklahoma families of trans youth filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, seeking protection from a state law that criminalizes medical care for trans youth.
“All people deserve to access the medical care they need and to feel comfortable living as their authentic selves. This fight is far from over,” said Megan Lambert, Legal Director at ACLU of Oklahoma.
Since its passage in May, Senate Bill 613 has forced families of trans youth to scramble for resources in a time of massive uncertainty.
The new law bans all forms of gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender youth. It also threatens providers who violate the law with a felony conviction and discipline from their professional licensing boards.
Medical orgs approve of trans youth medical care
The ACLU of Oklahoma, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the law firm Jenner & Block LLP have sued to strike down the law. They entered into an agreement with the state’s attorney general in May not to enforce the law while the case plays out in court, the OU Daily reported.
Yet a District Court refused to approve the preliminary injunction. In Thursday’s brief, the attorneys for Oklahoma families are asking the appeals court to reverse that decision.
“Medical treatment for gender dysphoria is safe and effective evidence-based medical care, and it saves lives,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Counsel and Health Care Strategist at Lambda Legal. “Yet, SB 613 endangers the health and wellbeing of transgender young Oklahomans by denying them access to this care and forcing loving parents to watch their children suffer.”
Notably, leading medical experts and organizations oppose restrictions on medical care for trans youth. They include the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, there are an estimated 2,600 transgender youth ages 13-17 in Oklahoma.