Montana Judge Suspends Enforcement Of Law To Ban Medical Care For Transgender Minors

MISSOULA, MONTANA - MAY 03: Transgender rights activists hold signs as they march through the University of Montana campus on May 03, 2023 in Missoula, Montana. Dozens of students and transgender rights activists staged a demonstration on the University of Montana campus to protest the censure of transgender Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr by House Republicans in the Montana State Legislature for breaking House rules of decorum by saying state legislators would have "blood on your hands" if a transgender youth care ban was passed. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Transgender rights activists hold signs as they march through the University of Montana campus on May 03, 2023 in Missoula, Montana. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
3:26 PM – Wednesday, September 27, 2023

A Montana law banning medical care for transgender minors has been temporarily suspended. 


District Court Judge Jason Marks ruled that a law passed this year by the Montana Legislature blocking medical care for transgender youths was “unconstitutional” and “would harm the mental and physical health of minors with gender dysphoria.” The law was set to take effect in the next four days on October 1st

Marks’s ruling places a preliminary injunction on the ban until a full trial can be held to discuss the law, according to the Associated Press. The judge expects his ruling to be appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.

“Today’s ruling permits our clients to breathe a sigh of relief,” Akilah Deernose, executive director of the ACLU of Montana, said in a statement. “But this fight is far from over. We look forward to vindicating our clients’ constitutional rights and ensuring that this hateful law never takes effect.”

The law was set to prohibit the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical treatment for gender dysphoria, which is a term used to describe the difference between gender assigned at birth and the individual’s perceived (and desired) identifying gender.

This comes after Republican Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT) signed the bill into effect earlier this year in April, highlighting how public funds would not be used to pay for gender transition surgeries.

The bill “protects Montana children from permanent, life-altering medical procedures until they are adults, mature enough to make such serious decisions,” Gianforte wrote in a letter.

Additionally, transgender-identifying youth and supporters argued that the law would violate their rights to equal protection, the right to seek health, and the right to dignity. Parents of these minors argued that the law would violate their constitutional rights to make medical decisions for their children. 

“Montana’s ban is a direct assault on the freedom and well-being of transgender youth, their families, and their medical providers,” Malita Picasso, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberty Union, said in a previous statement.

A study done by Columbia University released in August revealed that gender transition surgeries in the United States almost tripled from 2016 to 2019. 

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