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August 21, 2023

Georgia SB 140, which blocks access to hormone therapy for transgender youth, was granted a temporary injunction while the case proceeds

ATLANTA—A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction late Sunday halting a provision in Georgia Senate Bill 140 (“SB 140,” the “Health Care Ban,” or the “Ban”) from taking effect while a lawsuit filed by four Georgia families and an organization proceeds. 

Judge Sarah E. Geraghty’s order found that it is “substantially likely” that the plaintiffs will be successful in permanently striking down the law as unconstitutional and prohibits the state from enforcing the ban on hormone therapy for the treatment of gender dysphoria in adolescents pending a decision on the merits in the case.

Four Georgia families along with TransParent, a national organization of parents with transgender children, are represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the ACLU of Georgia (ACLU-GA), the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), and the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP in the lawsuit Emma Koe, et al. v. Caylee Noggle, et al., filed on June 30, 2023. 

Counsel for the plaintiffs released the following statement on the ruling:

“This decision is an incredible victory for Georgia families. We are gratified that the Court carefully considered the evidence and appropriately applied the law in halting SB 140. This law unapologetically targets transgender minors and denies them essential health care. The ruling restores parents’ rights to make medical decisions that are in their child’s best interest, including hormone therapy for their transgender children when needed for them to thrive and be healthy. 

“Using hormone therapy to treat transgender youth when it is medically necessary is supported by every major medical organization in the country. Indeed, the Court found that the ban would ‘be likely to put some individuals at risk of the serious harms associated with gender dysphoria that gender-affirming care seeks to prevent.’

“We remain tireless in working for parents to be able to make critical decisions for their children, and for transgender individuals to continue having access to the health care they deserve. We are hopeful that the strong rejection of this harmful, prejudicial law will stop the relentless attacks on the rights of transgender youth and their families.”

This is the seventh federal court to block a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, joining courts in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida. In June 2023, a federal court struck down Arkansas’ ban on the grounds it violated the Equal Protection clause, Due Process clauses, and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

You can read the order here.