(ConservativeSense.com) – A judge in Montana has stepped in and blocked legislation to prevent transgender surgeries on minors. Lawmakers passed the Youth Health Protection Act earlier this year, and it was signed into law by Governor Greg Gianforte in April, but District Court Judge Jason Marks placed a preliminary injunction on the legislation just days before it was due to take effect on October 1.
Judge Marks based his decision on several grounds: it violates Montana’s Equal Protection Clause because it singles out transgender individuals and, as such, is a gender-based classification and a breach of fundamental equal rights. He also said the law was not fit for purpose and did not achieve its aim of protecting “minor Montanans from pressure to receive harmful medical treatments.”
Finally, the judge ruled that the Youth Health Protection Act would not pass constitutional scrutiny because it violates privacy. The procedures the law seeks to ban are not “medically acknowledged” as “bona fide health risks,” he said.
Emilee Cantrell, spokesperson for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, said the ruling is a mere setback, and she looks forward to “presenting our complete factual and legal argument to protect Montana children from harmful, life-altering medications and surgeries.”
The decision results from a lawsuit filed by the parents of two children, who were joined by the American Civil Liberties Union. The parents wished to transition their children and sued the state to prevent the law from taking effect.
The passing of the legislation was noteworthy and made national headlines due to the contributions of transgender lawmaker State Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who was barred from speaking at debates following “hate-filled testimony.”
Zephyr, a male who identifies as female, addressed those voting in favor of the law and said, “The next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.” Subsequent censure prompted protests on the House floor,, during which police arrested seven people.
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