Human Rights Campaign declares state of emergency, judge issues injunction on Florida transgender care ban
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida Capital Bureau) - A state of emergency has been declared for LGBTQ people in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign issued that warning Tuesday based on discriminatory laws being passed in states across the country, including in Florida.
This comes as a federal judge ruled Florida can’t enforce portions of the state’s new law banning gender-affirming care in minors.
The state medical boards banned doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and surgeries for minors in March. The legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis then put that ban into law.
Several families sued the state in federal court, claiming it violates the 14th Amendment because it singles out transgender children. Chriss is representing the families.
“Folks were kicked off or denied access to treatment that, again, they need to live,” said Chriss.
In court documents, Judge Robert Hinkle cited examples of what he called quote ‘bigotry’ directed toward transgender people. The judge pointed to a remark made by Rep. Webster Barnaby who referred to them as “demons” and “mutants” during the 2023 legislative session.
Equality Florida spokesman Brandon Wolf said he feels the new laws don’t really reflect the values of everyday people.
“I don’t believe my neighbors wake up every day hoping their transgender neighbor loses access to health care,” said Wolf.
Wolf says many transgender individuals are choosing to leave Florida because of the new laws.
“He has lived in Florida for 30 years and is making the decision to leave Florida because it’s not safe for him and his family here anymore. That absolutely breaks my heart,” said Wolf.
Tuesday’s injunction only applies to the people in the lawsuit, but Chriss said she doesn’t see the state enforcing the ban at all.
“My hope is it provides hope to the families here that they may not need to leave, things will get better in Florida. We will make this a state that is safe again for trans folks,” said Chriss.
The case will head to trial next. Judge Hinkle wrote in the injunction that he believes the state will likely lose the case.
The Gray Florida Capitol Bureau did ask the Florida Department of Health to comment. A department spokesperson said it doesn’t comment on any ongoing litigation.
Copyright 2023 WCTV. All rights reserved.