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Poe v. Drummond

Location: Oklahoma
Status: Ongoing
Last Update: July 19, 2024

What's at Stake

Families, transgender adolescents, and their medical providers are challenging a new law, signed by Governor Kevin Stitt in May 2023, that imposes criminal penalties on healthcare providers who provide age-appropriate medical care for transgender adolescents. Such restrictions are opposed by leading medical experts and organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the Williams Institute of UCLA, there are an estimated 2,600 transgender youth ages 13-17 in Oklahoma.

In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma, Lambda Legal, and the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, a group of families with transgender adolescents and a medical provider who supports trans youth assert SB 613 unjustly and unfairly targets them and gender-affirming health care in violation of their rights under Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit also alleges that the September 2022 decision to stop providing gender-affirming care to transgender adolescents at Oklahoma University hospitals to maintain access to COVID funding relief violated both the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

SB 613 bans all forms of gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender youth and threatens providers who violate the law with a felony conviction and discipline from their professional licensing boards.

In September 2022, Oklahoma state legislators threatened to withhold COVID relief funding from Oklahoma University hospitals if they did not end their program supporting transgender youth. In March 2023, the Oklahoma legislature censured Rep. Mauree Turner, the state’s only openly nonbinary lawmaker.

Update: On October 5, 2023, the District Court denied Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction regarding SB 613, which is now in effect. Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 5, 2023. But the lawsuit continues, and Plaintiffs will urge the Tenth Circuit to stop this unconstitutional law from continuing to harm transgender youth, their families, and their healthcare providers.

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