*** Victory! Update! *** On August 25, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the preliminary injunction blocking Arkansas’s ban on gender affirming health care for minors. The Court held that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution by impermissibly discriminating on the basis of sex. On November 16, 2022, the Circuit Court denied the State’s petition for rehearing en banc.
On January 19, 2022, the National Women’s Law Center, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., and 20 additional organizations committed to gender justice and LGBTQ rights submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Brandt v. Rutledge. We filed our brief in support of Dylan Brandt, Brooke Dennis, Sabrina Jennen, and Parker Saxton, transgender young people with gender dysphoria who the state of Arkansas has tried to bar from receiving gender-affirming health care, as well as their parents and two doctors.
Our brief urges the appeals court to affirm the district court’s decision to block Arkansas’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors from taking effect. We argue that the law discriminates based on sex and transgender status, violates transgender young peoples’ rights to bodily autonomy, and violates their parents’ rights to protect their children’s health. We also counter harmful and erroneous arguments raised by supporters of this law, who claim that banning gender-affirming care is necessary to protect transgender adolescents—they’re wrong, it harms them—and that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination will somehow undermine women’s rights—they’re wrong, it bolsters protections for all women and girls.