LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal court today issued a bench decision blocking an Arkansas law that prohibits health care professionals from providing or even referring transgender young people for medically necessary health care. The law was set to go into effect on July 28. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors.
“This ruling sends a clear message to states across the country that gender-affirming care is life-saving care, and we won’t let politicians in Arkansas — or anywhere else — take it away,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Today’s victory is a testament to the trans youth of Arkansas and their allies, who never gave up the fight to protect access to gender- affirming care and who will continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their authentic selves, free from discrimination. We won’t rest until this cruel and unconstitutional law is struck down for good.”
This is the second anti-trans law passed in 2021 that has been blocked by an ACLU lawsuit. Earlier this month, a federal court in Tennessee blocked a law that required businesses and other entities that allow transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender to post a government-prescribed warning sign.
“We warned lawmakers that if they passed laws attacking trans people that they would see us in court,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU's LGBTQ & HIV Project. “This victory belongs to Dylan, Brooke, Sabrina, and Parker, as well as other trans youth in Arkansas who spoke up about the harms created by this law. Our work in Arkansas and around the country is far from over — including with this law.”