Federal judge blocks much of Indiana’s ban on gender-transition care for minors

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge issued an order on Friday preventing Indiana’s ban on puberty blockers and hormones for transgender minors from taking effect as scheduled on July 1.

The Indiana American Civil Liberties Union has sought the temporary injunction in its legal challenge to the Republican-backed law, which was signed into law this spring as part of a nationwide push by GOP-led legislatures to restrict LGBTQ+ rights.

U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon’s order will allow the law’s ban on gender transition surgeries to take effect. Hanon’s order also blocks provisions that would bar Indiana doctors from communicating with out-of-state physicians about gender transition care for their patients under 18.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit hours after Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law on April 5. The challenge, on behalf of four young people undergoing transgender treatment and an Indiana doctor who provides such care, argued that the ban would violate the equal protection guarantees of the US Constitution. and violated the right of parents to decide on the medical treatment of their children.

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Indiana’s Republican-dominated legislature approved the ban after contentious hearings that included mostly testimony from vocal opponents, with many claiming gender transition care reduced the risk of depression and suicide among transgender youth.

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