DeSantis slams ruling overturning Florida law on gender-affirming care

Gov. Ron DeSantis is vowing to appeal a decision by a federal judge that has invalidated a Florida law banning minors from receiving gender-affirming care and placed restrictions on adults seeking such treatment.

In a 105-page ruling issued on June 11, Judge Robert Hinkle clarified that gender-affirming care includes puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Hinkle wrote, "Transgender opponents are, of course, free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender."

The law, enacted in 2023 under Gov. Ron DeSantis, prohibited gender-affirming care for anyone under 18 and restricted adult access by limiting who can "prescribe, administer, or perform" the care. It also mandated in-person appointments and support letters from doctors and mental health professionals.

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The decision nullifies significant portions of the law, which critics have labeled as discriminatory and an attack on the transgender community.

However, state officials argued that the law targeted the treatments and not transgender individuals. Gov. DeSantis has vowed to appeal the ruling, criticizing the decision during a news conference on Wednesday.

"I think it's about, 'Are we going to be rooted in truth as a society or not?' and if we're rooted in truth, then you would say, 'Of course, you can't do these surgeries because it's not going to take and transform somebody that's a male into a female," the governor said, "so we'll win that appeal."

At least 25 other states have passed similar laws, many of which are also facing legal challenges.