WASHINGTON (WJHL) — The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors.
In its complaint, the department argues the new law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sex and transgender status.
“Left unchallenged, it would prohibit transgender children from receiving health care that their medical providers and their parents have determined to be medically necessary,” U.S. Attorney Henry Leventis said in a release. “In doing so, the law seeks to substitute the judgment of trained medical professionals and parents with that of elected officials and codifies discrimination against children who already face far too many obstacles.”
The department has asked the court to issue an order blocking the law before it goes into effect on July 1.
The ban prohibits doctors from providing care such as puberty blockers, hormone treatment, or surgeries to minors as a treatment for gender dysphoria. Violating the ban could result in a provider losing their license or facing fines.
Republican state lawmakers made banning gender-affirming care for minors a priority this legislative session. After lawmakers passed the ban, it was signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee.
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union also filed a lawsuit seeking to block the new law.