Quick Takes

Kentucky’s ban on transgender medical care for minors headed to U.S. Supreme Court, ACLU says

By: - November 1, 2023 10:40 am

A protester raises a fist beside a large transgender pride flag at the Kentucky State Capitol in March. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Sarah Ladd)

Kentucky’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the 2023 law banning certain gender affirming medical care for transgender minors. 

This comes more than a month after the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to keep Kentucky’s ban on treatments like hormones for trans minors in place. 

The ACLU of Kentucky says it will file the petition Thursday or Friday. It is filing on behalf of seven transgender children and families alongside the National Center for Lesbian Rights. 

Tennessee is also filing, ACLU said, and the two wish to be “the first challenge to transgender healthcare restrictions before the Supreme Court.”

Kentucky’s ban is part of Senate Bill 150, which also bans surgeries like phalloplasty, vaginoplasty or hysterectomies and vasectomies on transgender children. Neither the ACLU nor Kentucky LGBTQ+ organizations have taken issue with that part of the law.  

Corey Shapiro, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, called the ban “extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship” in a statement. 

“We are asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Sixth Circuit’s decision so that our clients can continue receiving the necessary, effective health care recommended by their physicians and supported by their parents,” Shapiro said. “It’s time to stop criminalizing health care, interfering with personal decisions, and substituting political agendas for the expertise of health care professionals.” 

Speaking to reporters in Glasgow Wednesday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron once again expressed his support for the ban and intention to counter any challenges to it.

He will continue “protecting the innocence of youth,” he said,  “and I look forward to continuing to defend that law.”

McKenna Horsley contributed to this report. 

This story may update. 


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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.