LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (KTVE/KARD) — On Monday, October 17, 2022, the nation’s first trial over the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for youth began in Arkansas. Last year, U.S. District Judge Jay Moody temporarily blocked the law that would prohibit doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or surgery to anyone under 18 years old.
Now, Moody is hearing evidence and testimonies doctors and families of trans youths over the law. Two doctors and the families of four transgender youths are pushing for Moody to strike down the law. They say it is unconstitutional because it infringes on doctors’ free speech rights, intrudes on parents’ rights to make medical decisions for their children, and discriminates against transgender youths.
If the law is put into effect, doctors who violate the ban could lose their licenses and be sued or face other professional disciplinary measures. The trial is expected to last at least one to two weeks.
On October 19, 2022, 17-year-old Dylan Brandt, one of the four transgender minors challenging the law, testified and said that his life has been transformed by the hormone therapy he’s receiving. Brandt said that banning this treatment in Arkansas could force his family to leave the state.
“My outside finally matches the way I feel on the inside,” he said. “I have my days, but for the most part, this has changed my life for the better. I can look in the mirror and be okay with the way I look, and it feels pretty great.” Dylan has been the only minor to testify in the trial.