'Remarkable intrusion': Judge tears apart Florida's ban on gender-affirming care
The rights of transgender people have become a cultural and political lightning rod in the United States(AFP)

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Florida state law that banned minors from receiving gender-affirming care was discriminatory and he blocked the state from applying it to three children whose parents sued.

The rebuke was a stinging message to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida's Republican-controlled legislature who have made gender identity issues central to their agenda.

Legal analyst Chris Geidner revealed that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that the ban on gender-affirming care in Florida's S.B 254 was unconstitutional in that it was “targeted at a discrete and insular minority" and existing laws prevent such discrimination.

The ruling blocks the state from applying the ban to three minors whose parents sued the state claiming it would cause "irreparable harm" if the children couldn't continue to access treatment, Politico reported. The ruling only affects those three, but suggests others could successfully challenge it.

“Nothing could have motivated this remarkable intrusion into parental prerogatives other than opposition to transgender status itself," Hinkle wrote.

“The State of Florida’s decision to ban the treatment is not rationally related to a legitimate state interest,” Geidner cited from Hinkle's ruling. He called it a decision "fatal to the bans."

"The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset," the ruling continued. "Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear. The medical defendants, speaking through their attorneys, have admitted it. At least one defense expert also has admitted it. That expert is Dr. Stephen B. Levine, the only defense expert who has actually treated a significant number of transgender patients. He addressed the issues conscientiously, on the merits, rather than as a biased advocate."

Geidner called it one of the more aggressive rulings in challenging states trying to limit gender-affirming care.

“The medical defendants, speaking through their attorneys, have admitted [gender identity is real]. At least one defense expert also has admitted it,” Hinkle continued. Some people, however, believe that “transgender individuals have inappropriately chosen a contrary gender identity, male or female, just as one might choose whether to read Shakespeare or Grisham.”

Read the full ruling here.