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Federal judge hears case against Alabama law banning youth transgender treatment

By Doug Cunningham
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Federal judge hears case against Alabama law banning youth transgender treatment
Demonstrators protest near the Supreme Court as the Court hears oral arguments in three cases on LGBTQ discrimination protections in Washington, D.C., on October 8, 2019. A federal judge Thursday is hearing testimony in a suit by parents seeking to block an Alabama law outlawing transgender medical treatment for youth under 19. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 5 (UPI) -- U.S. District Judge Liles Burke will hear testimony Thursday in a lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of Alabama's law making it a felony to provide puberty blockers and hormones to transgender youth under 19.

The lawsuit by parents of transgender minors, two doctors and a reverend is an effort to stop the law before it takes effect May 8.

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The suit argues that the law is unconstitutional and said "The Act intrudes into the right of parents to make medical decisions to ensure the health and wellbeing of their children."

Plantiff attorney Melody Egan expects to call five witnesses Thursday. Two doctors, the mother of a transgender minor, a pastor and a counselor will testify.

The U.S. Justice Department is siding with the plaintiffs in challenging the law.

In an April 29 statement the Justice Department said that the Alabama law, S.B. 184, violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Penalties for violating the law are up to 10 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. The law makes it illegal for any person to "engage in or cause" specified types of medical care for transgender minors.

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The Alabama legislature passed the bill, the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, April 7. It was signed into law the next day.

Backers of the law claim it was passed to protect minors from long-term consequences of transgender medical treatments they might regret.

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