Advocates of gender-affirming care react after judge strikes down Florida law: 'Gives people a lot of hope'

A federal judge has struck down a Florida law that bans minors from receiving gender-affirming care. The law also places restrictions on adults trying to access care.

According to the 105-page ruling from Judge Robert Hinkle, which came down on June 11, gender-affirming care refers to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. 

In the ruling, 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, passed in 2023 by Governor Ron DeSantis, prohibits gender-affirming care for anyone under 18 and restricts access to care for adults by limiting who can "prescribe, administer, or perform" that care. It also requires in-person appointments and support letters from doctors and mental health professionals.

Jennifer Marvin said those hurdles have now fallen.

"It gives people a lot of hope," Marvin said. "A lot of hope!"

Marvin said she struggled with her identity growing up and did not transition until she was about 50. Now a licensed mental health counselor, some of her clients are trans youth – experiencing similar emotions. Tuesday’s ruling is monumental for them, she said.


"At least now they can talk about it," Marvin said. "They can get help, and they can be encouraged to pursue the life they want to live."

It’s a battle won in what’s likely to be a long war, said Anna Eskamani, Florida State Representative for District 42.

"I do see this as a win for private health care decisions," Eskamani said. "It’s a win to allow people just to be themselves and for families to be able to seek the right medical care for their children."

According to Eskamani, right now, there is so much misinformation about gender-affirming care, and trans issues are now being thrown around like political football.

"End of the day, this is nothing to do with politics. This is private healthcare decisions that families are navigating," Eskamani said. "I think for many members of the LGBTQ+ community, it has been a tough time. The rhetoric, the policies in Florida. We are a state that was progressing forward in issues impacting diversity, and we have just regressed dramatically."

Timing is everything; this ruling came down during Pride month and one day before the 8th anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

"That makes me feel great that there are people out there that are supportive of just allowing us to live our life the way we need to," Marvin said.

Gov. DeSantis’ office issued a statement in response to Hinkle’s ruling.

"Through their elected representatives, the people of Florida acted to protect children in this state, and the court was wrong to override their wishes," it read. "We disagree with the court’s erroneous rulings on the law, on the facts, and on the science."

The statement also mentioned plans for an appeal.