Politics ACLU sues Arkansas over ban on treatment for transgender youth
Tennessee gov signs transgender 'bathroom bill' for schools
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed legislation that puts public schools and their districts at risk of losing civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multi-person bathrooms or locker rooms that do not reflect their gender at birth. LGBTQ advocates have decried the legislation as discriminatory. It's the first bill restricting bathroom use by transgender people signed in any state in about five years, according to Wyatt Ronan, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. The Republican governor signed the bill Friday, cementing another policy into law this year in Tennessee that targets the transgender community.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Tuesday sued Arkansas to block a new law that bans doctors in the state from providing gender reassignment surgeries and other treatments for transgender youth.
The ACLU saidthat the law will have "devastating consequences" for transgender youth in Arkansas, setting up the first challenge to a highly controversial law that the state legislature muscled through by by GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
"The ACLU is proud to represent them," the civil rights group said, referencing the four transgender adolescents and their families and the two doctors it is representing. "Because of the shocking nature of the harms this law would impose, this is the first lawsuit we are filing against any of the anti-trans laws that state legislatures passed this year - and more will be coming soon."
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"Transgender children in crisis shouldn't have to turn to the courts to ensure that they can get the health care that their doctors and parents agree they need. But that's the reality that anti-LGBTQ forces have created as part of their campaign of attacks on transgender youth."
The Arkansas law says that young people will not be able to obtain puberty blockers, which delays the start of puberty, as well as cross-hormone therapy, which helps transgender people to adjust their physical appearance to be more in line with their gender identities.
The law could go into effect later this summer.
The ACLU's lawsuit says the prohibition violates the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution's 14th Amendment as well as the First Amendment.
Tennessee moves to the forefront with anti-transgender laws
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Conservative lawmakers nationwide introduced a flurry of anti-LGBTQ bills this year, but no state's political leaders have gone further than Tennessee in enacting new laws targeting transgender people. Lawmakers passed and Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed five new bills into law, consistently dismissing concerns that they discriminate against an already vulnerable population, that some of the laws are unworkable and that they could damage the state’s reputation. © Provided by Associated Press Colin Goodbred, a 22-year-old transgender student, poses on the campus of Dartmouth College, Friday, May 21, 2021, in Hanover, N.H.
The suit goes on to claim that the law prevents needed health care and strips families of the power to make their own decisions about a youth's treatment.
Young people in Arkansas "will be unable to obtain medical care that their doctors and parents agree they need -- and those already receiving care will have their treatment abruptly halted -- which could have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences," the lawsuit reads.
"The Health Care Ban barges into Arkansas families' living rooms and strips Arkansas parents of the right to provide medical care for their children," it adds.
The law in Arkansas is just one of several being passed in GOP-controlled states that target transgender youth, with many also looking to bar children who identify as girls but were assigned male at birth from participating in girls' sports.
High school sports documentary shows importance of transgender inclusion .
A groundbreaking new documentary shows the humanity of transgender high school athletes fighting for the right to participate in sports."Being transgender is not a choice,” said Huckman. “From the very beginning, I knew I was a girl.