A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Tennessee and Kentucky’s bans on gender-related medical interventions, such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender surgeries on children.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to reject a challenge to the laws from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and families of trans-identifying children.
“This is a relatively new diagnosis with ever-shifting approaches to care over the last decade or two. Under these circumstances, it is difficult for anyone to be sure about predicting the long-term consequences of abandoning age limits of any sort for these treatments,” wrote Chief Judge Jeffrey Sutton.
The ACLU called Thursday’s ruling a “devastating result” and promised to take further action.
“The disastrous impact of Tennessee’s law and all others like it has already been felt in thousands of homes and communities. Denying transgender youth equality before the law and needlessly withholding the necessary medical care their families and their doctors know is right for them has caused and will continue to cause serious harm,” the ACLU said Thursday in a statement.
Daily Wire host Matt Walsh reacted to the ruling Thursday evening, calling it “huge.”
“This is huge. Our ban on child mutilation has been upheld. When we passed the bill, trans activists gloated that they would easily get it overturned in court. Who’s gloating now you child butchering ghouls?” Walsh posted on X.
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti celebrated the ruling as well, posting on X, “Tennessee’s law that protects children from irreversible gender-related medical interventions remains in effect.”
Tennessee Representative Jason Zachary (R) called the ruling a “big win.”
“Protecting children is a priority in TN,” Zachary said.
Another state congressman, Representative William Lamberth (R), said Tennessee will “continue to lead the way” when it comes to “protecting our children.”
“This is a huge win in the fight against a dangerous and extreme ideology that harms children and ruins lives,” Lamberth said.
A similar ban in Alabama was upheld by a federal appeals court last month. Bans in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Montana, and Indiana have been overturned.
Over the last few years, critics have sounded the alarm about the permanent effects of both gender hormone treatments and surgical procedures, especially on children.
Both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones come with serious health risks. Puberty blockers can affect bone growth and density and cause sexual dysfunction, voice damage, and infertility, among other issues. Cross-sex hormones can cause infertility, deadly blood clots, heart attacks, increased cancer risks of the breasts and ovaries, liver dysfunction, worsening psychological illness, and other serious conditions.
The number of gender surgeries nearly tripled in the U.S. from 2016 to 2019, according to an analysis published Wednesday in JAMA Network Open. In 2016, there were about 4,550 procedures, and that number spiked to around 13,000 in 2019.
Hundreds of girls in the U.S., some as young as 12, have gotten elective, gender-related double mastectomies to remove their healthy breasts over the last few years.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.