A Montana district court judge has handed LGBTQ+ communities a small victory, temporarily blocking the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors. Judge Jason Marks made the decision on Wednesday, just four days before the law would have gone into effect. He ruled that the law was likely unconstitutional because it would damage the physical and mental health of minors who experience gender dysphoria. Marks rejected arguments from the ban’s proponents, who claimed they were trying to protect kids from experimental treatments, even citing a pre-existing Montana law saying that all patients have the right to consent to experimental treatments if they are recommended by a healthcare professional. Marks concluded by saying that the law was most likely designed to “ban an outcome deemed undesirable by the Montana Legislature, veiled as protection for minors.” The temporary block would be effective until a full trial, but the state Department of Justice plans to appeal the move.
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