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‘We will sue’: Idaho ACLU seeking to partner with those affected by ban on gender-affirming care

More than 300 people in February 2023 gathered in front of the Idaho Statehouse in opposition to anti-transgender legislation moving through the Idaho Legislature. The event was organized by Access Coalition Taskforce, a collective of Idaho-based nonprofit organizations dedicated to individual rights.   (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman)
By Ryan Suppe Idaho Statesman

BOISE – Less than a day after House Bill 71 was signed into law, the American Civil Liberties Union said it plans to sue to block Idaho’s new prohibition on gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

The law makes it a felony to provide puberty blockers, hormone therapies and transition-related surgeries to minors. Leo Morales, ACLU of Idaho executive director, on Wednesday called the bill “discriminatory” and said the group is looking for people who will be affected.

“For any individuals directly impacted, we seek partnership as we challenge this law in court,” Morales said in a news release. “We will sue to stop this harmful and unconstitutional law.“

Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed the legislation Tuesday night. The Republican said society should protect “minors from surgeries or treatments that can irreversibly damage their healthy bodies,” but policymakers should “take great caution” when interfering with parents’ decisions.

Republican Attorney General Raúl Labrador on Tuesday expressed support for the law and said his office is prepared to defend it in court.

“Some critics suggest this bill is unconstitutional,” Labrador said on Twitter. “It is not.”

Last month, four families filed a federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s ban on puberty blockers and gender-affirming surgeries for minors. The lawsuit claims Florida’s prohibition unfairly targets transgender minors and violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Associated Press reported.