Texas Supreme Court upholds ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youths; organizations speak out

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Senate Bill 14 can remain law on Friday.

It went into effect in September 2023, making it illegal to provide hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and transition surgery to anyone under 18.

It also requires children already on medication to begin weaning off prescriptions.

"We're obviously glad that the Texas Supreme Court agrees with the legislature that doctors can't disrupt or destroy children's healthy bodies," said Jonathan Covey, the policy director for Texas Values.

Texas Values wrote an amicus brief to the court in favor of upholding SB 14.

"The state has a right to jump in and protect children from decisions that will clearly jeopardize their health and their safety," said Covey.

The lone dissenting judge in the case disagrees.

"The State’s categorical statutory prohibition prevents these parents, and many others, from developing individualized treatment plans for their children in consultation with their physicians, even the children for whom treatment could be lifesaving," said Justice Debra Lehrmann in her dissenting opinion. "The law is not only cruel — it is unconstitutional."


"I would be lying to say that it wasn't an unexpected outcome, but still deeply disappointing, and I feel a lot of grief for the families of trans youth that were hoping for some relief today who are not going to be getting that relief," said Ash Hall, the policy and advocacy strategist on LGBTQIA+ Rights at the ACLU of Texas.

Hall adds this ruling will have a huge impact on Texas families.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates nearly 30,000 Texas teenagers identify as transgender.

"It sends a really terrible message that there's no support for them here and that's not true," said Hall. "In the meantime, we're going to make sure that families here know their rights and that trans youth know that they are loved and supported by the vast majority of Texans."

At the beginning of May, the Austin City Council declared protection for transgender children in the city. It recommends city funds not be used to investigate transgender health care and asks police to make enforcement of the law its lowest priority.