Four families backed by multiple LGBT activist groups filed a federal lawsuit against Florida on Thursday, challenging its new rule banning gender transition procedures for minors.
The ban, which took effect on March 16, prohibits minors from accessing surgical sex change procedures, puberty blockers and hormone therapy. Four parents, along with several LGBT and left-wing activist groups, filed the lawsuit against Florida’s Surgeon General Thursday on behalf of their children who they claim are transgender, arguing the ban is a violation of parents’ rights to “make medical decisions to ensure the health and wellbeing of their adolescent children,” according to the complaint.
The families are requesting an injunction against the ban, which they say prevents parents from “seeking and obtaining effective medical treatment” for their children. They are represented by the Human Rights Campaign, Southern Legal Counsel, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Sidley Austin LLP, and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.
BREAKING: We just filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four Florida families challenging a new ban on essential healthcare for transgender kids.
We are proud to represent these brave families with @SouthernLegal, @HRC, and @NCLRights. https://t.co/Kxjs7x9Bzg
— GLAD (@GLADLaw) March 23, 2023
All of the plaintiffs filed under a pseudonym, choosing not to disclose their identities to protect their children’s privacy on a “highly sensitive and personal” matter, according to the complaint.
One of the plaintiffs, Jane Doe, is part of a military family with four children. She is suing on behalf of her 11-year-old child, Susan.
“The military doctors we work with understand the importance of providing that evidence-based, individualized care,” Doe wrote in a statement. “We’re proud to serve our country, but we are being treated differently than other military families because of a decision by politicians in the state where we are stationed. We have no choice but to fight this ban to protect our daughter’s physical and mental health.”
Susan began living as a girl “by the time she started kindergarten” and had a gender dysphoria diagnosis confirmed by a Pentagon doctor, according to the complaint.
The youngest child represented in the complaint is nine years old. The mother, Carla Coe, says she is suing because her child has been “saying she is a girl since she was three.”
“Since she started being able to live as a girl she has been so much happier and better adjusted,” Coe said in a statement. “Having the resources and support to make the best decisions for her well-being has been so important for our family.”
“It’s alarming to see such a concerted, top-down effort to target a small and vulnerable population,” said Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director, in a statement. “The Florida Surgeon General, Department of Health and Boards of Medicine should be focused on the real and serious public health issues Florida faces, not on putting transgender kids and their families in harm’s way.”
The Florida Department of Health said it “does not comment on pending litigation.” It did, however, provide the Daily Caller News Foundation with a gif featuring Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
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