Oklahoma can protect children and adolescents from harmful and experimental transgender medical interventions, a court has ruled.
In May, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed SB 613 into law. The bill made it a felony for health care practitioners to provide anyone under 18 years old with puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries to make them appear more like the opposite sex.
SB 613 also allows children harmed by these damaging procedures to file suit against the health care practitioners who provided them with “gender transgender procedures” until they turn 45.
Shortly after the law was passed, far-left activist groups including The American Civil Union, The ACLU of Oklahoma, Lambda Legal and the law firm Jenner & Block LLP sued Oklahoma on behalf of a group of families with sexually confused minors and one medical provider.
The groups alleged in the lawsuit that SB 613 “threatens the health and wellbeing of transgender adolescents” and is unconstitutional because it “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The far-left groups also claimed SB 613 is discriminatory because it prevents parents from exercising their rights to “make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”
On October 5, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma ruled against the far-left groups and allowed SB 613 to take effect.
The court rejected the argument that SB 613 violates the U.S. Constitution.
Refuting the idea that SB 613 violates the Equal Protection Clause because it allegedly “discriminates against the Minor Plaintiffs on the basis of sex,” the court said:
SB 613 does not prevent any adult – male or female – from undergoing Treatment Protocols in connection with gender affirming care; it only prevents minors from doing so. …
The Act does not use sex as a means to distinguish between groups – treatments allowed by SB 613 are allowed for all minors, regardless of sex. … Similarly, all minors, regardless of sex, are prohibited from undergoing certain procedures for the purpose of gender transition before reaching the age of majority (emphasis in original).
“In the case before this Court, Plaintiffs have not demonstrated a fundamental right for parents to choose for their children to use puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries for the purpose of effectuating a gender transition,” U.S. District Judge John F. Heil wrote, adding,
It is rational for the Oklahoma Legislature to regulate the Treatment Protocols for minors while the democratic process resolves ongoing questions of safety and efficacy.
In a statement following the ruling, Governor Stitt said,
“I am pleased with the court’s decision to uphold Oklahoma’s common sense law protecting children from dangerous, permanent sex change surgeries. Here in Oklahoma, we protect our kids. Plain and simple.”
After the ruling, the ACLU et. al. issued a statement saying it would appeal the court’s ruling. Any appeal will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
The ACLU called the ruling a “devastating result for transgender youth” saying the law “has caused and will continue to cause serious harm.”
The ACLU’s response brings this verse from Scripture to mind:
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20, ESV).
Contra the ACLU, it is harmful to perform irreversible and sterilizing transgender medical interventions on young children. As we’ve previously written, “such medical interventions are dangerous, harmful and irreversible, and there is no real evidence to show they work.”
Three months ago, four young women filed lawsuits against doctors and hospitals who permanently damaged their bodies with puberty blockers, hormone suppressants, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries. These young women also suffered severe psychological harms from these “treatments.”
Chloe Cole was the first to file a lawsuit. She says that the doctors’ treatment of her left her with “deep physical and emotional wounds, severe regrets, and distrust of the medical system.”
So no, it is not harmful to protect children from transgender medical interventions. It is right and just to do so.
Just two weeks ago, the Daily Citizen reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld laws in Kentucky and Tennessee protecting children from transgender procedures.
It is good that legislatures continue to pass laws protecting children confused about their sexual identity. The U.S. Supreme Court will likely be asked to weigh in on the constitutionality of such laws at some point.
Please continue to pray and get involved in the political process until all minors are protected under law.
Focus on the Family exists to help families, and that includes help navigating the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism. Focus offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.
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