DOJ joins ACLU in WV and AK in fight for transgender rights

The Department of Justice has filed statements of interest in support of transgender litigants who are being represented by the ACLU. The injunctions in Arkansas and West Virginia argue that both states violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. If successful the injunctions prevent the states from enforcing the laws until the respective court’s issue rulings.

The DOJ won a lawsuit in May filed by the college of the Ozarks which claimed the fair housing laws violated its religious freedom to discriminate.

In West Virginia, Law and Crime reports the DOJ said that House Bill 3293, which bans transgender athletes at public schools from competing in female sports at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level, violates both the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by the parents of a transgender girl who said their daughter was unlawfully prohibited from trying out for the school’s cross-country track team because of the measure.

ACLU WV Lawsuit
Heather Jackson filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of her daughter, 11-year-old Becky Pepper-Jackson, challenging West Virginia’s new law banning transgender girls and women from participating in school-sanctioned sports that align with their gender identity.

Governor Jim Justice couldn’t name a single transgender athlete to justify the state’s ban on transgender girl atheletes.

In Arkansas, the DOJ backed an ACLU-filed lawsuit challenging a state law (Act 626) that bans gender-affirming health care for transgender youths. The DOJ also claims that the state ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union in a statement said that it filed the lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors challenging an Arkansas law that prohibits health care professionals from providing or even referring transgender young people for medically necessary health care. The bill also bars any state funds or insurance coverage for gender-affirming health care for transgender people under 18, and it would allow private insurers to refuse coverage for gender-affirming care for people of any age. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that House Bill 1570 violates the U.S. Constitution.

Dr. Michelle Hutchison and Dr. Kathryn Stambough are also challenging the law on behalf of themselves and their patients because it impairs their ability to treat their transgender patients with medically necessary health care or even refer them to other providers for treatment. Every major medical association supports treating transgender youth with gender-affirming medical care and opposed House Bill 1570 because it runs counter to science and medicine and will cause severe harm to transgender young people, their families, and all those who love them.

“Prohibiting medically necessary care in the manner proscribed by Act 626 amounts to intentional discrimination against transgender minors on the basis of sex,” the filing stated.

“For example, a [cisgender] minor whose assigned sex at birth was male can receive puberty-blocking medication to treat precocious puberty so that the minor can live as a boy, rather than prematurely experiencing sexual development,” the DOJ filing stated.

“But a minor whose assigned sex at birth was female cannot receive puberty-blocking medication so that the minor can live as a boy, rather than developing the secondary sex characteristics of a woman. This difference in outcome is based solely on a difference in their sex assigned at birth.”

There is no place that the cumulative detrimental effects of anti-trans laws are more evident than in Arkansas. Multitudes of families have been forced to flee, terrified for their safety. These are real people citizens of Arkansas who were target by insurrectionists at the behest of Trump.

The fascists took the cue from trump after his defeat and have unmercifully targeted children with laws that will kill them.

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