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L.W. v. Skrmetti

Location: Tennessee
Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Ongoing
Last Update: June 14, 2024

What's at Stake

Samantha and Brian Williams of Nashville, TN and their 15-year-old transgender daughter are challenging a Tennessee law banning gender-affirming care for transgender people under 18. Tennessee is home to over 3,000 transgender adolescents and the health care banned by this law is supported by the entire mainstream of the medical community.

In April 2023, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Tennessee, Lambda Legal, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP sued the State of Tennessee to block the state’s ban on medically necessary gender-affirming care for Tennessee’s transgender youth.

The legal advocates are suing Tennessee on behalf of Samantha and Brian Williams of Nashville and their 15-year-old transgender daughter, two other plaintiff families filing anonymously, and Memphis-based medical doctor Dr. Susan Lacy.

In addition to banning best practice medical care for trans youth up to age 18, Public Chapter No. 1 would require trans youth currently receiving gender-affirming care to end that care within nine months of the law’s effective date of July 1, 2023, or by March 31, 2024. The law also establishes a private right of action against medical providers providing medically necessary care to trans youth.

“It was incredibly painful watching my child struggle before we were able to get her the life-saving healthcare she needed. We have a confident, happy daughter now, who is free to be herself and she is thriving,” said plaintiff Samantha Williams. “I am so afraid of what this law will mean for her. We don’t want to leave Tennessee, but this legislation would force us to either routinely leave our state to get our daughter the medical care she desperately needs or to uproot our entire lives and leave Tennessee altogether. No family should have to make this kind of choice.”

“I don’t even want to think about having to go back to the dark place I was in before I was able to come out and access the care that my doctors have prescribed for me,” said Samantha and Brian Williams’ daughter. “I want this law to be struck down so that I can continue to receive the care I need, in conversation with my parents and my doctors, and have the freedom to live my life and do the things I enjoy.”

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