New Bill Banning Sex Change Related Procedures on Minors in Tennessee Halted by a Federal Judge

Jun 29, 2023 at 09:21 am by WGNS News

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

Rutherford County, TN – A new bill that banned doctors in Tennessee from performing sex change operations on teens and children under the age of 18 has been met with a legal hurdle.  The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted a request for a preliminary injunction against the law, Public Chapter No. 1, in a lawsuit brought by Samantha and Brian Williams of Nashville and their 15-year-old daughter, as well as two other anonymous families and Dr. Susan N. Lacy. According to the ACLU of Tennessee, “The law would prohibit medical providers from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender youth and 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.”

State Representative Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro explained what the purpose of the bill was… Rudd was a co-prime sponsor of the new bill that was written to replace present law and establish prohibitions related to the performance of gender change procedures, especially those tied to gender identity. This new bill created private causes of action for violations, and established additional penalties for violations (Read the full bill summary HERE).


The new bill was set to be enforceable by law this Saturday, July 1, 2023, but a federal judge has blocked that enforcement. This injunction temporarily stops Tennessee law from banning sex change related surgeries or hormone therapy on trans youth up to age 18 (Read the Federal Injunction HERE). The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Tennessee, Lambda Legal, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. 

SUMMARY OF BILL AS AMENDED (003694): Prohibits a healthcare provider from knowingly performing, administering, or offering to perform or administer, a medical procedure for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor's biological sex, or treating purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between the minor's biological sex and asserted identity. Creates an exception for medical procedures used to treat a minor's congenital defect, precocious puberty, disease, or physical injury, or if the performance or administration of the medical procedure began prior to July 1, 2023 and concludes on or before March 31, 2024. Prohibits a person from knowingly providing a hormone or puberty blocker to a minor if the provision of the hormone or puberty blocker is not in compliance with the proposed legislation.

MORE DETAILS: “Today's ruling acknowledges the dangerous implications of this law and protects the freedom to access vital, life-saving healthcare for trans youth and their families while our challenge proceeds,” said Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, ACLU of Tennessee staff attorney. “This law is an intrusion upon the rights and lives of Tennessee families and threatens the futures of trans youth across the state. We are determined to continue fighting this unconstitutional law until it is struck down for good. And to trans youth and their families: we see you, and we will not stop until all trans Tennesseans have the care and support they need to thrive.” 

“Today’s ruling tells transgender youth in Tennessee that they are seen, their lives matter, and that they have the right to access this life-saving care,” said Sruti Swaminathan, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney for Youth. “We are so grateful for our brave Plaintiff families and provider for standing up against this harmful law.” 

The ACLU went on to say in a press release, “Tennessee’s is the sixth ban on gender-affirming care blocked by a federal court following similar rulings in Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida. The ACLU and the ACLU of Oklahoma secured a binding non-enforcement agreement with the Attorney General of Oklahoma preventing enforcement of that state’s ban in May 2023. On June 16, 2023, the ACLU and the ACLU of Indiana were granted a preliminary injunction in a legal challenge against Indiana’s ban on gender-affirming care.”

Source: ACLU, TN General Assembly, TN State Rep. Tim Rudd


Sections: News