Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general opposing dangerous laws in Kentucky and Tennessee that severely limit transgender youths’ access to critical and lifesaving healthcare.
The amicus brief supports the blocking of Tennessee and Kentucky senate bills, which restrict medical treatment for transgender minors seeking gender-affirming care. In the brief, Raoul and the coalition stress the importance of gender-affirming care for the health and well-being of transgender youth.
“Restricting gender-affirming care jeopardizes the physical and mental health of transgender youth,” Raoul said. “Transgender youth deserve access to gender-affirming care, and I am committed to ensuring they are not denied those rights.”
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.
Enacted in March 2023, Tennessee’s Senate Bill 1 and Kentucky’s SB 150 aim at blocking transgender minors' access to medical treatment, such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers that help treat gender dysphoria.
In the brief, Raoul and the coalition support blocking these laws because they significantly harm the health and lives of transgender people by denying them medically necessary care that protects their physical, emotional and psychological health. Additionally, the coalition argues the bills 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.
Joining Raoul in filing the amicus brief are attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.