The legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Shannon Minter, is preparing a lawsuit against a new Utah law that prohibits nearly all gender-transition medical care for minors. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the bill into law last Saturday, which prohibits surgical procedures on minors and indefinitely bans hormonal treatments for new minor patients, taking effect immediately.
The law is considered one of the most extreme among a range of measures being considered by over two dozen state legislatures. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, and Tennessee have also passed laws that restrict gender-transition medical care for minors, but judges have temporarily blocked the laws in Alabama and Arkansas.
Gender-affirming care includes allowing children to adopt a name and dress that aligns with their gender identity, as well as psychological treatment, prescribing hormone blockers, and in some cases, surgery. Many medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, view such treatments as potentially life-saving.
The number of gender clinics treating minors in the United States has gone from zero to over 100 in the past 15 years, with little evidence of the efficacy and possible long-term consequences of such treatment. Minter views the rise of Republican-backed anti-transition care bills as “a kind of hysteria, a mob mentality” and stresses that this affects “a very small group of kids with a rare medical condition.”
“When kids get the treatment and support they need, they do really well,” Minter added.