Federal judge refuses to pause Florida’s new transgender law

SB 254 passed last legislative session

Florida's SB 254 bans nurse practitioners from prescribing hormone therapy for transgender patients. (Erik Sandoval, Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A federal judge has denied a request to pause Florida’s new law aimed at who can prescribe hormone therapy for transgender residents and who can receive it.

Florida’s legislature passed SB 254 last legislative session.

It bans nurse practitioners from prescribing hormone therapy for transgender patients, it bans minors from starting hormone therapy, and it also blocks state funds from being used for hormone treatment.

Opponents of the legislation sued, challenging the law’s constitutionality, and they asked a judge to stop the law from taking effect while their lawsuit made its way through the court system.

“SB 254 singles out transgender individuals and creates arbitrary, harmful, and medically unjustified restrictions that deter them from obtaining needed medical care,” the request for the injunction read.

On Tuesday, Federal Judge Robert Hinkle denied the request.

In his ruling, he addressed claims made in the lawsuit and the request for injunction.

“…the challenged statute and rules do not prohibit adults from obtaining treatments of the kind the plaintiffs seek,” he wrote. “Two plaintiffs will be unable to obtain hormone treatment from their current providers. But despite the plaintiffs’ contrary assertions, they may be able to obtain the treatment from others.”

He continued.

“In short, the adult plaintiffs have not shown they will suffer irreparable harm, between now and the date of a final judgment, caused by any part of the statute or rules as to which the plaintiffs’ challenge is likely to succeed on the merits.”

Hinkle scheduled a pre-trial hearing for Oct. 30.

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About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.