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LGBTQ+ advocates' lawsuit says Louisiana transgender care ban violates the state constitution

The Louisiana Capitol on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La.
Stephen Smith
The Louisiana Capitol on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La.

A lawsuit to block enforcement of Louisiana's new ban on transgender health care procedures for anyone under 18 was announced Monday by LGBTQ+ advocates.

The lawsuit was prepared by Lambda Legal and others on behalf of five Louisiana minors and their parents, identified in the filings by pseudonyms. Lambda Legal said in a news release the lawsuit was being filed in Louisiana district court in New Orleans.

State lawmakers approved the ban last year and overrode a veto by then-Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. The law bans, among other things, hormone treatments, gender reassignment surgery or puberty-blocking drugs for minors and took took effect Jan. 1, making Louisiana one of 22 states banning or restricting such transgender care.

The lawsuit in New Orleans is one of several state and federal court challenges to those laws. A federal judge in Arkansas struck down that state's ban last June but other challenges have resulted in rulings allowing enforcement. The ACLU has taken a challenge to Kentucky and Tennessee bans to the Supreme Court.

The Louisiana lawsuit argues that the law violates the state constitution's right to privacy provision by imposing burdens on parents' and individuals' ability to make personal medical decisions. It seeks a judicial declaration that the law is unconstitutional and a court order blocking its enforcement.

"The Act's prohibition on providing evidence-based and medically necessary care for transgender adolescents with gender dysphoria stands directly at odds with transgender adolescents' right to obtain the medical treatment they need, as recommended by their medical providers and with the support of their parents," the lawsuit states.

Edwards, who was term-limited, left office Monday. New Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, the former state attorney general, had expressed support for the ban. His communications director did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.

The Associated Press

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