GLMA Commends Federal Judge Decision to Permanently Block Arkansas Transgender Health Care Ban

GLMA celebrates the recent decision by Judge Jay Moody in the Arkansas case to strike down and permanently enjoin the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on gender-affirming care for children. Judge Moody found that the law violated the Constitutional rights of transgender youth, their parents, and their medical providers. The court held that plaintiffs prevailed on all their claims, finding the ban violated the Equal Protection Clause, the Due Process Clauses, and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Judge’s ruling was informed by an amicus brief filed collaboratively by numerous medical associations, including GLMA. The law had been temporarily blocked by Judge Moody since 2021, when it was passed by the state legislature overriding a veto by the former Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson.

Statement from Judge Moody:

"Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics, the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and wellbeing of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be advancing.”

GLMA President Nick Grant, PhD, ABPP, and Executive Director Alex Sheldon, MA, have issued the following joint statement:

"Nationwide transgender people are being forced to fight for their most basic rights, including access to essential health care. This recent victory in Arkansas demonstrates that these discriminatory laws are indefensible when subjected to scrutiny and countered by medical evidence. We hope this ruling serves as a powerful message to other states, highlighting the vulnerability and unconstitutionality of such laws. We applaud Judge Moody for incorporating the expert opinion of GLMA’s health professional membership and our fellow amici into his decision.”

GLMA remains steadfast in its mission to ensure that transgender individuals receive the gender affirming care they want, need, and deserve. We are committed to continuing to break down barriers to comprehensive care for the LGBTQ+ community.