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AG Nessel Joins Coalition of 20 States in Opposing Anti-Transgender Laws in Tennessee, Kentucky
August 11, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general in opposing dangerous laws in Kentucky and Tennessee that severely limit transgender youths' access to critical and lifesaving healthcare. The plaintiffs in L.W. v Skrmetti are suing to block Tennessee’s Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and Kentucky’s SB 150, which restrict medical treatment for transgender minors seeking gender-affirming care. The coalition, led by California, filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, stressing the importance of gender-affirming care for the health and well-being of transgender youth.
“The Tennessee and Kentucky laws serve to further marginalize a community that often feels invisible,” said Nessel. “These laws shove the state government between minor patients, their parents, and the recommendations of trusted medical specialists their families have chosen to care for them. I proudly stand with my colleagues in opposing these laws that do not comport with the way we should treat our children or our LGBTQ+ community.”
Many transgender teens suffer from gender dysphoria, which results from the incongruence between gender identity and sex at birth. Gender dysphoria has been found to cause severe distress and anxiety, depression, fatigue, decreased social functioning, overreliance on drugs and alcohol, and a poorer quality of life. Among transgender people, suicide attempts are nine times more common than in the overall U.S. population. Those risks are even higher among transgender youth.
Tennessee’s SB 1 and Kentucky’s SB 150, enacted in March this year, are aimed at blocking transgender minors' access to medical treatment such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers that help treat gender dysphoria.
In their amicus brief, the coalition supported the plaintiffs' lawsuits seeking to block the enforcement of SB 1 and SB 150, arguing that the laws:
- Significantly harm the health and lives of transgender people by denying them medically necessary care that protects their physical, emotional, and psychological health.
- Are discriminatory and violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by singling out medical care for transgender youth while permitting it for cisgender youth.
In filing today’s amicus brief, AG Nessel is joined by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
A copy of the amicus brief is available here.