Montana judge temporarily blocks ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors

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A Montana judge temporarily blocked on Wednesday Montana’s Senate Bill 99, also known as the “Youth Health Protection Act”, which bans certain gender-affirming medical treatments for minors.

District Court Judge Jason Marks found that SB 99 would most likely have the “opposite effect” when it comes to protecting minors and that the “purported purpose…is disingenuous.” Judge Marks also suggested that SB 99 is unlikely to pass unconstitutional review. Judge Marks critiqued the bill as being “veiled as protection for minors.” Judge Marks highlighted the legislative record’s “animus towards transgender persons” and legislatures’ suggestive “personal, moral, or religious disapproval of gender transition”.

Malita Picasso, Staff Attorney for the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Porject stated, “SB 99 is an openly-discriminatory law targeting the only safe and effective care for transgender youth. We’ll continue to fight this law until all transgender Montanans have the health care they need.”

The Youth Health Protection Act was originally meant to go into effect on October 1st but will remain blocked until the constitutionality of the Act is determined through court proceedings.

Similar bans on gender-affirmative medical care have been deemed unconstitutional in states such as Arkansas and Texas.