11th Circuit Order Allows Alabama Transgender Adolescent Medical Ban to Take Effect

Today the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order allowing Alabama’s ban on medical care for transgender adolescents to take effect. This order grants a request by the state of Alabama to stay the trial court’s 2022 decision blocking the law from being enforced while the challenge against it proceeds.

Lawyers representing parents of transgender adolescents who are challenging the ban issued the following statement:

“Alabama’s transgender healthcare ban will harm thousands of transgender adolescents across the state and will put parents in the excruciating position of not being able to get the medical care their children need to thrive. The district court issued its preliminary order blocking the ban after hearing days of testimony from parents, doctors, and medical experts about the devastating impact of this ban and the lack of any medical justification for it. Today’s ruling will hurt parents and children in the state. We will continue to challenge this unlawful ban and to support parents and their kids in pushing back against the dangerous reality of being denied access to necessary, best practice medical care.”

On August 21, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit reversed the district court’s May, 2022 decision preventing the ban from taking effect. In a request for rehearing filed in September 2023, the plaintiffs argued the full court should review the panel decision because it conflicts with Supreme Court and 11th Circuit precedent dictating that all laws discriminating based on sex should be subjected to heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause, and because the ban violates parents’ longstanding right to make medical decisions for their children, rather than cede that power to the state. That request for rehearing en banc is still pending. A full trial on the constitutionality of the ban is planned to take place in federal district court in August 2024.

Plaintiffs in Boe v. Marshall are represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). They are joined in the litigation by co-counsel King & Spalding LLP and Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC.

Alabama families looking for support can reach out to www.southernequality.org/ALresources