Two recently passed laws restricting trans teens’ access to healthcare and sports were blocked from taking effect Wednesday by federal judges.
Arkansas’ HB 1570, passed earlier this year, bans transition care for trans minors, prohibits doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, and stops doctors referring young people to other providers for the treatment. It was the first such state law passed in the U.S.
HB 1570 will now not take effect on July 28th while the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging it on behalf of a group of trans teenagers proceeds. Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU's LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a statement: “This victory belongs to Dylan, Brooke, Sabrina, and Paxton, as well as other trans youth in Arkansas who spoke up about the harms created by this law. Our work in Arkansas and around the country is far from over—including with this law.”
Another federal court temporarily blocked West Virginia’s HB 3293—which bans all transgender athletes in middle school, high school, and college from women’s sports across the state—from taking effect. Republican Gov. Jim Justice “proudly” signed the bill in April. The temporary block means plaintiff 11-year-old Becky Pepper-Jackson will be allowed to try out for the girls’ cross-country and track teams at her school. In a statement, Pepper-Jackson said she was excited to be able to do so, “and follow in the running shoes of my family. It hurt that the State of West Virginia would try to block me from pursuing my dreams. I just want to play.”