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AG Nessel Joins 19 States in Opposing Indiana Anti-Transgender Law

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general in opposing a state law in Indiana that blocks the ability of transgender youth to access critical, lifesaving gender-affirming care. The plaintiffs in K.C. v. Indiana are suing to block Indiana’s Senate Enacted Act (S.E.A.) 480, which prohibits healthcare professionals from providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth. 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.  

“Laws like Indiana’s Senate Enacted Act 480 insert the state government between patients, parents, and doctors as a barrier to necessary health care provided to transgender youth,” Nessel said. “This law is inconsistent with the way we should treat our children, especially transgender youth, who are more likely to experience marginalization and bullying. Withholding critical gender-affirming care threatens the lives and well-being of these young people and I proudly join my colleagues in opposing this dangerous and discriminatory law.” 

Many transgender teens suffer from gender dysphoria, which results from the incongruence between their gender identity and sex assigned at birth. Gender dysphoria has been found to cause severe distress and anxiety, depression, fatigue, substance misuse, decreased social functioning, 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. Enacted in April 2023, Indiana’s S.E.A. 480 is 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 supports the plaintiffs' lawsuit seeking to block the enforcement of S.E.A. 480, arguing that the law: 

  • Significantly harms the health and lives of transgender people by denying them medically necessary care that protects their physical, emotional, and psychological health. 
  • Is discriminatory and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by banning medical treatment for transgender youth while permitting the same treatment for cisgender youth. 

In filing the amicus brief, AG Nessel joined 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.


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