ACLU and Others File Lawsuit Over Bill that Bans Doctors from Performing Sex Change Operations on Minors in TN

Apr 20, 2023 at 08:55 pm by WGNS News

Photo from the "Teens Against Gender Mutilation Rally" earlier this year in Murfreesboro.

Rutherford County, TN - A new bill that was passed last month has groups like the ACLU and Lambda Legal upset to the point of filing suit against the State of Tennessee. The organizations, along with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, suggested House / Senate Bill 0001 places a discriminatory ban on what the groups are calling “medically necessary gender-affirming care for Tennessee’s transgender youth.”

State Representative Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro helped carry the bill, which prohibits healthcare providers from performing sex-change operations on minors... The new bill will go into effect as law on July 1st of this year.





According to an ACLU press release that was sent to WGNS on Thursday, “The legal advocates are suing Tennessee on behalf of Samantha and Brian Williams of Nashville and their 15-year-old transgender daughter, two other plaintiff families filing anonymously, and Memphis-based medical doctor Dr. Susan Lacy.”

In the state House, the bill was also co-sponsored locally by Representative Charlie Baum of Murfreesboro and Representative Mike Sparks of Smyrna. The Senate version of the bill was co-sponsored locally by Senators Dawn White and Shane Reeves, both of Murfreesboro. Scroll down to read more of what the ACLU of Tennessee stated in their release on Thursday. Click the photo below to see pictures from the "Teens Against Gender Mutilation Rally" that was held in January on the Murfreesboro Civic Plaza.

Continued - The ACLU press release stated: In addition to banning best practice medical care for trans youth up to age 18, Public Chapter No. 1 would require trans youth currently receiving gender-affirming care to end that care within nine months of the law’s effective date of July 1, 2023, or by March 31, 2024. The law also establishes a private right of action against medical providers providing medically necessary care to trans youth.

“It was incredibly painful watching my child struggle before we were able to get her the life-saving healthcare she needed. We have a confident, happy daughter now, who is free to be herself and she is thriving,” said plaintiff Samantha Williams. “I am so afraid of what this law will mean for her. We don’t want to leave Tennessee, but this legislation would force us to either routinely leave our state to get our daughter the medical care she desperately needs or to uproot our entire lives and leave Tennessee altogether. No family should have to make this kind of choice.”

“I don’t even want to think about having to go back to the dark place I was in before I was able to come out and access the care that my doctors have prescribed for me,” said L.W., Samantha and Brian Williams’ daughter. “I want this law to be struck down so that I can continue to receive the care I need, in conversation with my parents and my doctors, and have the freedom to live my life and do the things I enjoy.”

“The attack that Tennessee legislators and the governor have launched against transgender youth and their families and providers is stunning in its cruelty,” said Sruti Swaminathan, staff attorney for youth, Lambda Legal. “They are actively ignoring the science, dismissing best-practice medical care, intervening in a parent’s right to care for and love their child, and explicitly exposing trans youth in Tennessee to rampant discrimination. This law is not just harmful and cruel, it is life-threatening.”

“Families of transgender youth, like every family, do everything they can to love and support their children and keep them safe. They spend years discussing gender-affirming care with medical professionals and only proceed when such care is medically necessary,” said Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, ACLU-TN staff attorney. “The brave families filing this lawsuit are taking a stand for their transgender children despite being targeted by hateful politicians and media personalities. For them, it’s not about politics – it’s about the freedom to access vital, life-saving healthcare for their families. We are proud to be by their side and want all trans youth in Tennessee to know that we see them and will always defend their rights.”

“Tennessee's law is an unconscionable attack on transgender youth and their families,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s LGBTQ &HIV Project. “There is simply no reason other than ignorance or prejudice to single out gender-affirming care for a categorical ban based on standards that Tennessee does not apply to any other type of medical treatment. Transgender families should not have to flee their home state to access this necessary medical care.”




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