A state judge in Missouri temporarily blocked restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender people just hours before they were due to take effect.
It came after Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued an emergency ruling with the goal of limiting gender-affirming care for trans youth and adults.
St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo issued the ruling on 27 April, effectively buying the court more time to consider whether or not it should approve emergency relief in a lawsuit seeking to strike down the restrictions.
She also said she needed more time to review briefs that will be submitted by Bailey, which had not yet been filed, before issuing a decision on the plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order on 1 May.
“We are grateful for the court’s decision to issue a temporary stay,” said a statement issued by ACLU Missouri.
“No less than the health and well-being of thousands of transgender Missourians is at stake.
“Gender-affirming care is supported by overwhelming scientific data, decades of clinical experience, and the medical consensus of major medical organisations in the United States.
“The decision on whether or not to allow the implementation of this rule, which ignores the proven sciences and experience of health care providers, will have an immediate impact on Missourians of all ages and their access to lifesaving medical care.”
Lambda Legal and the ACLU are among the various legal teams who filed a petition to block Bailey’s emergency order, which states that those seeking this type of care must experience three years of “long-lasting, persistent and intense” gender dysphoria.
There would also be a requirement of 15 hours of therapy over 18 months before a diagnosis can be given.
Majority of Republicans believe attacks on LGBTQ+ rights are excessive
US voters across the political spectrum, including Republicans, believe anti-LGBTQ+ legislation to be “excessive, political theatre” designed to increase division, according to findings from research recently conducted by Data for Progress.
The poll found that “72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is ‘too much legislation’ aimed at limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America.”
With more than 400 separate bills already making their way through various state legislatures this year alone, it was also found that a majority of voters in the US believe the Republican Party is using LGBTQ+ rights as a “wedge issue” to gain political advantage and/or sow division.
“Political leaders should not hesitate to call out Republicans on their manipulative political tactics,” said Data for Progress pollsters Erin Thomas, Grace Adcox and Lew Blank in a blog post. “Furthermore, they should use their platform to make the country more aware of queer people and queer issues.”
They added that the Democratic Party “should be doing more to advocate for queer and trans people” as bills continue to target their rights.
This was reflected in the poll, as 56% of likely Democratic voters said the Party should be doing more, while 63% of Independent or third-party voters agreed.
Republican narratives surrounding trans identities also appear to be unpopular among potential voters, as 57% agree “that transgender identities occur naturally when free societies permit individuals to identify outside of societal norms, whereas only 33 percent view transgender identities as a ‘woke’ invention.”