Georgia Judge Rules to Resume Youth Hormone Ban

( – The national culture wars continue with a judge in Georgia following the trend seen in much of the country and ruling that the state can resume a ban on hormone replacement therapy for people who identify as transgender and are also under 18 years of age.

The move follows a ruling by a federal appeals court that permitted similar legislation in next-door Alabama to be reimplemented after being temporarily blocked.

Sarah Geraghty, a U.S. District Judge in Atlanta, initially blocked the law from going into effect in mid-August after determining that a group of transgender children and their parents would likely be successful in showing that the new law was in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Attorneys for the group had argued that the legislation violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Only one day after Geraghty’s ruling, a separate panel of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a prior lower-court decision that had blocked the implementation of similar legislation. The law in question sought to ban the administration of puberty blockers and HRT in trans children.

All judges on the 11th Circuit panel were Republican presidential appointments. Georgia’s Attorney General, who is also a Republican, urged Judge Geraghty to reverse her stance. Instead, the Biden appointee said the issue would be put on hold.

While the ban will go back into effect, it does allow for a grandfather clause. New patients will be barred from receiving hormone therapy, but children who were already taking the drugs prior to the legislation being passed will be permitted to continue doing so.

Challenges to Georgia’s new regulations in the interim would be expected, with the state’s Republican governor only signing off on the law in March of this year. Though the issue was not addressed as part of the case brought before Judge Geraghty, the legislation also bans elective genital reconstructive surgeries.

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