HELENA, Mont. — Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana are reassuring the transgender youth of Montana that they will take any necessary legal action against a proposed ban on their health care currently being considered by the state.
Senate Bill 99 would ban the only evidence-based care for gender dysphoria for transgender people under 18. The Montana Legislature has ignored the warnings of transgender youth, their families, and their medical providers about the potential harms of these bills. Similar restrictions in Alabama and Arkansas have been enjoined by federal courts.
Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana issued the following joint statement:
“Montana lawmakers seem hellbent on joining the growing roster of states determined to jeopardize the health and lives of transgender youth, in direct opposition to the overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence supporting this care as appropriate and necessary. Transgender youth in Montana deserve the support and care necessary to give them the same chance to thrive as their peers. Gender-affirming care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed in school, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, live authentically as themselves, and dream about their futures. If this bill is signed into law, we will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fear-mongering.”
Bans like SB 99 are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, Montana is home to an estimated 500 transgender youth between the ages of 13-17, less than one-tenth of one percent of Montana’s total population.