Judge Backs Trans Children in Treatment Battle

Judge Backs Trans Children in Treatment Battle

By Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Florida’s ban on the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy to treat three children diagnosed with gender dysphoria, calling the prohibition “an exercise in politics, not good medicine.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling will affect a group of transgender children and parents who filed a lawsuit challenging rules adopted by state medical boards banning health-care providers from using gender-affirming care to treat youths.

The Legislature this spring enshrined the rules — advanced by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration — in state law and added restrictions for transgender adults.

While the preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by Hinkle only applies to three of the children in the lawsuit, his ruling indicated the state’s prohibition against gender-affirming care for minors is unconstitutional and drew praise from LGBTQ-advocacy groups.

“The statute and rules at issue were motivated in substantial part by the plainly illegitimate purposes of disapproving transgender status and discouraging individuals from pursuing their honest gender identities. This was purposeful discrimination against transgenders,” Hinkle wrote.

The lawsuit, filed in March, challenges the prohibition against the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy for children under age 18. Defendants include DeSantis administration officials and members of the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

Hinkle’s 44-page ruling found there was “no rational basis” for the ban on the use of the drugs for transgender girls and boys.

“The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset. Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear. The medical defendants, speaking through their attorneys, have admitted it. At least one defense expert also has admitted it,” he wrote.

Although the vast majority of medical groups support gender-affirming care, the DeSantis administration and the state medical boards argued that the treatment isn’t supported by high-quality clinical research. The state also alleged that the medical groups supported the care for ideological, not clinical, reasons.

But Hinkle rejected the state’s stance.

“If ever a pot called a kettle black, it is here. The statute and the rules were an exercise in politics, not good medicine,” he wrote.

DeSantis’ press office did not respond to a request for comment, while the Florida Department of Health said it did not comment on current litigation. But Rep. Randy Fine, a Brevard County Republican who helped sponsor the legislation, blasted Hinkle’s decision.

‘It’s clear that Democrat Judge Hinkle is a science-denying wokeist whose radical order will soon be overturned by jurists who actually believe in science. We will not stop fighting to defend children from those like Hinkle who support child castration and mutilation,” Fine tweeted.

Florida is among Republican-led states that have passed hundreds of measures targeting transgender minors and the LGBTQ community this year. DeSantis, who recently announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2024, has fiercely attacked the use of gender-affirming care for minors, frequently calling it “child mutilation.”

The issue is “politically fraught,” wrote Hinkle, who was appointed to the bench by former President Bill Clinton in 1996.

“There has long been, and still is, substantial bigotry directed at transgender individuals. Common experience confirms this, as does a Florida legislator’s remarkable reference to transgender witnesses at a committee hearing as ‘mutants’ and ‘demons.’ And even when not based on bigotry, there are those who incorrectly but sincerely believe that gender identity is not real but instead just a choice. This is, as noted above, the elephant in the room,” the judge wrote, referring to references during an April committee meeting by Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona.

Although Tuesday’s ruling only affected the group of plaintiffs, Hinkle’s analysis rallied LGBTQ advocates.

“It’s important not to miss what the court also said, which is that the law and rules are likely to fail constitutional scrutiny once the court has the chance to rule on the merits. That is a hugely important part of the ruling which sends a strong signal to medical providers and families about the likely demise of this ban,” Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said in an email.

Other groups representing the plaintiffs include Southern Legal Counsel, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Human Rights Campaign.

The lawsuit alleged, in part, that the treatment ban unconstitutionally stripped parents of rights, a claim that Hinkle said was “likely to succeed” on the merits.

“I find that the plaintiffs’ ability to evaluate the benefits and risks of treating their individual children this way far exceeds the ability of the State of Florida to do so. I find that the plaintiffs’ motivation is love for their children and the desire to achieve the best possible treatment for them. This is not the State’s motivation,” he wrote.

The judge also concluded that the state’s decision appeared to be rooted in “purposeful discrimination” against transgender people.

“Still, an unspoken suggestion running just below the surface in some of the proceedings that led to adoption of the statute and rules at issue — and just below the surface in the testimony of some of the defense experts — is that transgender identity is not real, that it is made up,” Hinkle wrote. “Any proponent of the challenged statute and rules should put up or shut up: do you acknowledge that there are individuals with actual gender identities opposite their natal sex, or do you not? Dog whistles ought not be tolerated.”

The treatment ban seeks to discourage people from pursuing their gender identities, when different from their sex assigned at birth, Hinkle wrote.

“In a ‘fact sheet,’ the Florida Department of Health asserted social transitioning, which involves no medical intervention at all, should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents. Nothing could have motivated this remarkable intrusion into parental prerogatives other than opposition to transgender status itself,” he wrote.

Tuesday’s decision came as Hinkle also is poised to rule in a lawsuit challenging a decision by the state Agency for Health Care Administration to prohibit Medicaid payments to health-care providers for gender-affirming care for minors and adults. Some of the evidence in that case has also been used in the challenge to the medical boards’ rules and the new law.

The state has contended that puberty blockers and hormone therapy can pose risks for patients, which Hinkle said could be true. But Hinkle’s ruling attacked the state for relying on a group of experts who oppose gender-affirming care, saying the state ignored the “overwhelming weight of medical authority” supporting the use of such treatments, when appropriate.

“It is no answer to say the evidence on the yes side is weak when the evidence on the no side is weaker or nonexistent. … A decision for the three patients at issue cannot wait for further or better research; the treatment decision must be made now,” the judge wrote.

22 Responses to "Judge Backs Trans Children in Treatment Battle"

  1. @ DeepStatePropagandist… I know you kiddies think the world started when you were born and Winn end when Sunday Cortez says it will… which I think is only 8-years from now?… but, facts often get in the way of delusional agendas. Many, many, many wise and learned people came along way, way, way before you were even a thought in papa’s shorts.

    It’s all about properly educating you, son… allllll about undoing the damage the Public Indoctrination System has done to your brain and emotional state. So, you just hang in there, slick… and keep expanding that weed-soaked cranium of yours.

    I’m here and happy to help. 😉

  2. In what world are drugs that block the natural progression of a child’s body into adulthood “good medicine”. We live in a world where good is called evil and evil is called good. We need to return to a society based on healthy hetero sexual marriages, and family principles as God designed us to function.

  3. @Deep State

    I’m not interested in being anyone’s doormat or whipping boy. There’s no such requirement in Christianity.

  4. @Little Flower –

    “I have been harmed. The transgender “Sisters” live their lives by mocking God and other people. I’m one of those people.”

    There is a big difference between having your little feelings hurt and having the state actively legislate against you. Are you really unable to figure that out?

    “It’s a long read, better get started.”

    Should I start wit the part where Jesus got mad at a fig tree? I like the parts about having love in your heart for everyone, even those that *checks notes* have mocked you. Maybe you should give it a re-read.

    @Edward Lyle –

    “Get out of your rainbow bubble and get a grip on reality, slick.”

    Good one! I was wondering if you were going to tell me something about Charlie Chaplin or John Wayne or something while you were giving me such a thorough lesson.

  5. Clearly, DeepStatePropagandist doesn’t pay attention to current events. There are many recent examples of Gender Pretenders attacking those who disagree with them, threatening economic extortion against those with fire ring viewpoints – and yes, even murdering little Christian school children. Get out of your rainbow bubble and get a grip on reality, slick.

    Pat is right… I think the pig digs the slop. There is no reasoning with a brick… it just sits there. Facts and logic won’t get through to it… ‘cause it’s a brick.

  6. @DeepState

    I have been harmed. The transgender “Sisters” live their lives by mocking God and other people. I’m one of those people.

    I get it, you care about transgender people’s feelings. You don’t care about my feelings. But, I care about my feelings. I met your challenge.

    People get to heaven on God’s terms not their own terms. The terms are in the Bible. It’s a long read, better get started.

  7. @Little Flower –

    “I met your challenge and your response was to call me delicate and to get a dig at the Muslims.”

    You didn’t show how you’d been harmed, you simply shown that you’d been offended. (Oh no!) Big deal. And yes, getting offended about a cartoon of a prophet is in line with being offended about a person living their life the way the want to in so much as it doesn’t do any actual harm to you.

    You haven’t been harmed. You’ve let yourself believe that people living their life in a way that inconsistent with a book written by goat herders three thousand years ago is somehow an offense to you; that’s on you and your worldview.

    @Edward Lyle –

    “your Alinsky projection tactics do not work on the informed”

    Why this person got stuck in your head forty years ago, I won’t ever know. But he’s living there rent free. Set yourself loose, man.

    “It is the LGBTQPWhatever Mafia that thrusts hatred toward anyone who will not confirm their illusions. ”

    How? Where? Who has had hatred thrust upon them from that community? Give an example! I asked for someone to show how a person of “LGBTQPWhatever” had actually harmed them, and all I got was a flaccid example of someone who had their delicate sensibilities offended. So many snowflakes in the conservative community. Who knew?

    @Pat A –

    “Sooner or later you realize the pig is enjoying it.”

    I do enjoy pointing out the hypocrisy of conservatives, sure.

    ” Those of us that are devoted Christians that attend Church weekly and spend time daily reading the bible daily know what the Bible says about immoral behavior.”

    Great, then show me a verse where it says you shouldn’t love those people, that you should be happy if they leave your community. Show me a verse where it recommends the laws of men should treat them differently, as opposed to letting God figure it out. Should we ex-communicate blasphemers who eat red meat on Friday, or mix different types of thread together? Should we pass laws against people who touch a woman within 7 days of her menstrual cycle as recommended in Leviticus?

    The thing is, you’re getting to pick and choose which parts of ‘Gods Word’ you want to abide by, and that is because you are only using it to further the beliefs that make you feel good about yourself. All those Sunday’s and you have learned a thing.

    “Maybe you believe creation began with the “big bang”.

    That’s what all available evidence suggests, I can tell you that much.

    “Christians believe differently.”

    Who cares? Stop trying to codify your Santa Claus faith into laws and I wouldn’t care. If I believed that lightning was caused by a guy with a big hammer and wanted to base weather forecasts based on that, would it matter to you how strenuously I believed in my particular Santa Claus?

    ” You’re a liberal who thinks he can persuade Christians and Conservatives to support your views. You are wasting your time.”

    No, I am a person who is trying to expose the intellectual bankruptcy of conservative ‘thought’ as being shallow, filled with vitriol, backwards and full of hypocrisy. All I have to do to succeed in doing that is keep on allowing you to say things like Christian’s don’t believe in the big bang, or that our legal system should be based on the book of Romans. Elections are won by independents, and the more independents realize that voting conservative means throwing their lot in with people who spend all of their time angry at {people that aren’t like them} and believe in {things that are backwards} is a success for me. Keep it up!

  8. @Deep State

    I met your challenge and your response was to call me delicate and to get a dig at the Muslims.


  9. Arguing with DSP is like rolling in the mud with a pig. Sooner or later you realize the pig is enjoying it.

    Google the bible all you want and quote scripture without the outlining the context. Those of us that are devoted Christians that attend Church weekly and spend time daily reading the bible daily know what the Bible says about immoral behavior.

    Maybe you believe creation began with the “big bang”. Christians believe differently. The Bible is clear what will happen to all of us after we die (you’ll need to google that), and what punishment occur to those that harm children. You’re a liberal who thinks he can persuade Christians and Conservatives to support your views. You are wasting your time.

  10. @ DeepStatePropagandist… There’s no such thing as a “transgender” person… or transgender anything for that matter… and your Alinsky projection tactics do not work on the informed.

    It is the LGBTQPWhatever Mafia that thrusts hatred toward anyone who will not confirm their illusions. And no one is “born in the wrong body”, although they might be dissatisfied with the body they were born in.

    Trying to pervert the Word – as you obviously do reality – does not hold water either. And just because I may not agree with their choice to live an irrational, unhealthy, and unnatural lifestyle… does not mean I hate them or do not feel empathy for them.

    Here’s a little tip of reality for you and your LGBTQPWhatever Mafia friends… “You’re not special, you’re just different”

  11. @Little Flower –

    So, you’ve been offended is what is sums up to. You are a delicate little flower indeed! Maybe you should work on pondering if your faith system is so fragile that people minding their own business is offensive to you to the point when you feel it appropriate to spread invective and venom, maybe you need a better set of things to believe in. Why are you any better than a fundamentalist Muslim who thinks a drawing of Muhammed is offensive? Get a little tougher and let people be who they want to be.

    @Pat A –

    Is transgenderism referenced in the Bible? You’re the expert, I’d love to see some verses! Here are some I found:

    “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.”

    “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

    “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    I don’t see any carve out exclusions for transgendered individuals, gay people, or people who live in 32304. Do you?

  12. “I would challenge any of the regular posters here to actually articulate what a transgender person has done to them, how their lives have been harmed by someone who is transgender.”

    The transgender “Sisters” in California who have been honored by the California democrats and will be honored at the Dodgers game on June 16th have harmed me as follows:

    They mock the Catholic faith which means the world to me.
    They mock God which breaks my heart.
    They mock Catholic religious Sisters which are some of the best people on this earth (I personally know a few) and who have done nothing to deserve their ridicule.
    They mock women (who are adult female humans) and as a woman I am very offended.

  13. So much concentrated hatred, fear and ignorance in one place and it is truly sad.

    I don’t pretend to understand what might be happening in the mind of someone who feels like they were born in the wrong body, but it must be a frightening and bewildering experience. But just because I don’t understand it, that doesn’t mean I should shove scorn and derision and vitriol at them at every opportunity. What has a transgender person ever done to me? Nothing. What has a transgender person ever done to any of the regular posters here? Nothing. Except serve as a convenient outlet for the 24/7 rage cycle that perpetrates their newscycle, immigrants, LGBTQ, homeless people, black people, people who vote differently than them; it’s just another set of *them* that the dumb and viscous can be set against to gain clicks and dollars. All that rage is going to burn your soul up, but apparently, you’ll gleefully engage in hatred and anger as long as it makes you feel better about yourselves.

    So many bible thumpers here, yet, did Jesus cast aside those that were different? Is that one of the messages in the bible about loving your fellow man, that we should castigate, hold hatred, and expel those that are different from us?

    I would challenge any of the regular posters here to actually articulate what a transgender person has done to them, how their lives have been harmed by someone who is transgender.

    You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

  14. First, there is no such thing as “transgender” person. It’s a made-up term designed to ease the guilt of those who choose an irrational, unhealthy, and unnatural lifestyle. A better description of what these individuals are engaged in is GP (Gender Pretending), a symptom of a mental disorder known as Gender Dysphoria/Dystopia. At the risk of losing their taxpayer subsidies – the medical, scientific, and psychological entities are no longer permitted to freely talk about this mental disorder.

    The reason they target our children is because grown and rational-thinking adults cannot be swayed to join this mafia-like cult of mentally disturbed degenerates. So, they must target and manipulate the undeveloped minds of impressionable young children in an attempt to grow their cult membership. These are truly evil times, and like I stated earlier… neither history – nor God – will be kind to a people that allows this to happen to the most vulnerable among them… its children.

  15. Stinkle is as sick as the parents who let their children be groomed by these Satanists. I wish he could be term limited, or appear on a ballot so we could vote him out.

    Excellent post below, Little Flower.

  16. The very idea of a “trans” child is sick. I think people have lost their ever loving minds! Well, I got news for Katanji Brown action Jackson, a woman is a female adult. And anyone that thinks other wise is mentally ill.

    “Trans child”? Its sick on its face and to lend the idea any legitimacy should be taboo. Hinkle is a sick pervert, and when you put people like him on the bench you get perverted rulings.

    P.S. I have read the complete works of Tacitus, when the Visigoths were burning the gates of Rome, the Roman Senate was arguing bitterly over the fair price of a sexual favor. This is a similarly flavored moment I’m afraid.

  17. Hinkle… what a shock… not. Pure lunacy.

    @ Cynthia… stow the Alinsky tactics, they don’t work on the informed. As a practicing Christian for decades – which you clearly are not – I can very much assure you that neither history nor GOD will look kindly on a people that would subject its most vulnerable to this twisted and perverted witchcraft. ANYONE who would subject an impressionable child to this sick insanity – including his/her parents – will burn in hell… and that also includes activists in robes, like Hinkle, who pave the way to ideological depravity.

    And I don’t give a rats @$$ whether you care for my comment or not… so, why don’t you follow your own advice and just take a seat, and close your propaganda pie hole… and for GODs sake, stay the hell away from children.

  18. I think the trans movement is just another attack on the family. Families are the building blocks of society. Destroy the family and you destroy the society. We need to celebrate families more, you know father, mother and children constituting a family. Go families!

  19. Wow stop throwing the CHRISTIAN work around when they are suppose to welcome all to the table
    You have no understanding of gender identity issues if you assume the Judge isn’t a man of faith so sit down

  20. Well, I’m guessing the Judge isn’t a Christian and has never read the warnings in the book of Romans.

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