National and local LGBTQ+ groups have sued North Carolina over the ban on gender affirming care for minors passed by Republicans earlier this year. The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Lambda Legal and several other groups on the grounds that House Bill 808 violates the 14th Amendment by discriminating against transgender individuals and infringes on the rights of parents to make medical decisions with their children, according to the News & Observer.
“Trans youth deserve the ability to be themselves and to be free from discrimination,” Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a lawyer with Lambda Legal, told reporters upon filing the lawsuit. “Parents should not have their rights curtailed because their children are transgender. By bringing this case, we are seeking to vindicate those rights.”
Currently plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction blocking the law’s implementation as the case goes forward. The law bans gender affirming care for minors, including prescription hormones and puberty blockers; health care providers who violate the law risk having their medical licenses revoked. A similar law in Arkansas was permanently blocked after it was ruled unconstitutional.
National groups, such as Parents of Lesbians and Gays, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality and the National Health Law Program have joined Lambda in the lawsuit. Among the national and local LGBTQ+ groups, there is also a 9 year old transgender boy and his parents, who say the law prevents him from receiving necessary medical care to treat his gender dysphoria.
“The ban has and will continue to have devastating consequences for transgender youth and their families in North Carolina,” the lawsuit says. “Transgender adolescents with gender dysphoria will be unable to obtain the medical care that those who understand their medical needs — their doctors and parents — agree they need. Untreated gender dysphoria is associated with severe harm, including anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Cutting vulnerable adolescents off from treatment or withholding necessary care will inevitably cause significant harm.”
Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill in July, saying, “A doctor’s office is no place for politicians.” However, Republicans in the legislature, holding a supermajority in both chambers, overrode Cooper’s veto to make the bill law.
The American Medical Association states that “Every major medical association recognizes the vital role of gender-affirming care in improving the physical health and mental well-being of transgender individuals.”