Judge Says ‘Gender Identity is Real’
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Saying gender identity is real, a federal judge (Clinton) temporarily blocked portions of a new Florida law that bans transgender minors from receiving puberty blockers, ruling Tuesday that the state has no rational basis for denying patients treatment.
“The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset. Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear,” Hinkle said, adding that even a witness for the state agreed. “Despite the defense admissions, there are those who believe that cisgender individuals properly adhere to their natal sex and that transgender individuals have inappropriately chosen a contrary gender identity, male or female, just as one might choose whether to read Shakespeare or Grisham,” Hinkle continued.
Hinkle said people who mistakenly believe gender identity is a choice also “tend to disapprove all things transgender and so oppose medical care that supports a person’s transgender existence.”
Hinkle also added that “the statute and the rules were an exercise in politics, not good medicine. This is a politically fraught area. There has long been, and still is, substantial bigotry directed at transgender individuals. Common experience confirms this, as does a Florida legislator’s remarkable reference to transgender witnesses at a committee hearing as ‘mutants’ and ‘demons.’ And even when not based on bigotry, there are those who incorrectly but sincerely believe that gender identity is not real but instead just a choice.”
Hinkle’s “mutant” and “demons” comment is a reference to state Rep. Webster Barnaby (R-Deltona), who in April disparaged transgender people during a Florida hearing on a bill, eventually signed into law, that makes it a misdemeanor offense for someone to use a bathroom that doesn’t align with the sex they were assigned at birth.