This case is also known as Eknes-Tucker v. Ivey.


Facing criminal penalties and a devastating loss of essential medical care for their children, Alabama parents, medical providers, and Rev. Eknes-Tucker of Pilgrim UCC Church in Birmingham are asking a federal court to block a law criminalizing well-established medical care for transgender youth from taking effect.

The law, SB 184, punishes parents and their children’s doctors for providing – or even suggesting – well-established essential medical care for their transgender children. The punishment can include up to 10 years in prison.

The plaintiffs are represented by GLAD, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign, Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC, and King & Spalding LLP.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

The filing in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama – Northern Division is on behalf of four Alabama parents, a private practice pediatrician, a clinical psychologist with the UAB medical system, and Reverend Paul Eknes-Tucker, Senior Pastor at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Birmingham. The court filing explains that the law strips them of the right to make important decisions about their children’s healthcare.

A hearing on plaintiffs motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction took place on May 5, 2022 in Montgomery. Days later, a federal judge halted the law from being enforced while the lawsuit continued.

On July 1, 2024, plaintiff families challenging Alabama’s ban on health care for transgender adolescents asked the court to deny the State’s request to rule on the lawfulness of the ban before a full trial.

The Plaintiffs’ filing meticulously refutes false claims made in the State’s motion for summary judgment about the established standards of medical care for transgender adolescents. The Plaintiffs’ brief cites expert evidence about the rigorous development of those standards, the careful assessment and multidisciplinary approach involved in the delivery of care to transgender adolescents in Alabama, and the well-established benefits of care for transgender adolescents suffering from gender dysphoria.

The families challenging the ban argue that rather than short-circuit the process as the State requests, the case must be allowed to proceed to trial to ensure full consideration of the factual record on the safety and efficacy of transgender health care, the harm suffered by transgender adolescents when they are denied necessary care, and the purposeful discrimination against transgender people that motivated the sweeping ban.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals

In August 2022, the State of Alabama appealed the district court’s May 13 order blocking the law from being enforced to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The plaintiffs filed a response brief urging the Court of Appeals to keep the injunction against SB 184 in place, citing the district court’s reliance on well-established, evidence-based medical standards and parents’ fundamental right to obtain medical care for their children.

Later that month, families, medical experts, faith groups, and 21 states filed amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs urging the court not to reinstate the law criminalizing healthcare for transgender youth. You can find those filings below.

On August 21, 2023, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision ending the freeze on the ban. Alabama parents have since requested a hearing by the full 11th Circuit to reinstate the pause so their children can continue accessing essential medical care.

In January 2024 the 11th 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.

Latest filings:

New Report:

A new report by legal and medical experts from Yale Law School, the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center and Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and the University of Texas Southwestern gives an in-depth analysis of misleading scientific claims that informed Alabama’s move to criminalize medical treatment for transgender youth.