On-again, Off-again Georgia Transgender Health Care Law Back on

September 6, 2023
1 min read
On-again, Off-again Georgia Transgender Health Care Law Back on
Judge's gavel on a light background

A federal judge has lifted a preliminary injunction that was blocking a new state law limiting medical care for transgender minors in Georgia, allowing enforcement to resume.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Geraghty issued the injunction two weeks ago in a lawsuit filed by four Georgia families and a national organization of parents with transgender children, ruling the plaintiffs likely would succeed on the merits of the case.

But Geraghty changed course on Tuesday, citing a decision by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the day after her earlier ruling. The appellate court reversed an injunction that had been imposed in the Alabama case.

“It is undisputed that this court’s preliminary injunction order rests on legal grounds that have been squarely rejected by the panel in [Alabama],” Geraghty wrote in Tuesday’s decision. “This court’s injunction cannot stand on the bases articulated in the order.”

However, the judge rejected Georgia’s request that the preliminary injunction be quashed permanently. Instead, she stayed the injunction pending the final outcome of the Alabama case.

Georgia’s Republican-controlled General Assembly passed Senate Bill 140 in March, and Gov. Brian Kemp signed it the following day. It took effect July 1.

The legislation bans hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of gender dysphoria in adolescents. 

During the debate on the bill, supporters argued the law would protect minors from making life-altering decisions at such a young age. Opponents maintained delaying hormone replacement therapy or surgery for transgender youths until after age 18 could pose mental health risks. 

The lawsuit claims Senate Bill 140 violates transgender minors’ equal protection rights under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. 

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