ACLU represents Idaho families in suing officials to block enforcement of gender-affirming care for minors

LGBTQ legislation continues
Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 19:26:18-04

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is representing two Idaho families, both having gender dysphoric teens, and have filed paperwork to challenge the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, previously referred to in Idaho as House Bill 71a.

RELATED | Idaho House votes to criminalize gender-affirming care for kids

The bill, signed into law by Governor Little this past April, essentially criminalizes doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors, regardless of parents' decisions.

The bill, which goes into effect on January 1, 2024, specifically, bans puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and transition-related surgeries for minors, with the penalty of felony charges and being subject to up to ten years in jail.

RELATED | Gov. Little signs House Bill 71, banning gender-affirming care for minors in Idaho

At least 20 states have adopted this type of legislation, and most of them have been challenged in court. However, the newness of the issue has not shown any trending in decisions and outcomes from the challenges.

The Idaho families contend that the law violates their constitutional rights to equal protection under the law for the teens and due process for the parents.

The court filing asserts that “Governor Brad Little signed the bill into law in the name of ‘protecting minors.’ But lawmakers and the Governor ignored the extensive legislative testimony that the Healthcare Ban harms children.”

Though the families have chosen to remain anonymous, they both have children currently undergoing gender-affirming care. One attests that their child's life has been greatly improved since beginning gender-affirming care, minimizing and eliminating depression and boosting their self-esteem.

With the passage of the bill, they say the signs of depression and feelings of being unwanted are returning, causing the family to consider moving to a different state to legally continue treatments.

In a statement from Blaine Conzatti, President of Idaho Family Policy Center, he says "By fallaciously claiming that the Vulnerable Child Protection Act violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the ACLU makes a mockery of constitutional law and subverts the original intent of those constitutional guarantees."

The Idaho Family Policy Center, a self-described pro-family Christian ministry, drafted and championed the bill in Idaho, along with Republican lawmakers.

The suit names defendants Attorney General Raul Labrador, a county prosecutor, and members of the Idaho Code Commission.