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June 23, 2023

Federal Judge Issues Injunction Against the Arkansas Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Minors

On June 20, federal district court Judge James M. Moody in Brandt v. Rutledge (E.D. Ark.)  enjoined the Arkansas Attorney General and other government agents from enforcing Act 626, which was passed by the Arkansas legislature in 2021 to ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors. The opinion declared Act 626 is unconstitutional due to its basis on sex and discrimination against transgender people. Judge Moody concluded that “[r]ather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics, the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the State undermined the interests it claims to be advancing.” This ruling marks the first substantive judgment on transgender care as many similar bills have been proposed or enacted across the US. 

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