Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has entered briefs defending the rights of Tennesee and Kentucky to enforce laws prohibiting transgender surgeries and hormones for minors.
Both states are fighting appeals by United States attorneys and plaintiffs to the Supreme Court, asking it to review a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed bans on transgender surgeries and hormone treatment for minors to go forward.
Like similar briefs Marshall has filed in other states, the briefs highlight the "dishonesty" of advocacy groups like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Alabama has placed WPATH at the center of its own fight to defend Alabama's law preventing surgical and medicinal interventions for minors. As in Alabama and multiple states pursuing similar bans, the United States Department of Justice has attempted to intervene on behalf of allowing minors access to these operations.
The plaintiffs and the United States rely heavily on WPATH standards of care guidelines for transitioning transgender youth, as has every state attempting to black similar bans.
Marshall argues that WPATH is not a model of disinterested science. Instead, saying its" 'standards of care' for children with gender dysphoria rely on limited evidence-based research and suppressing dissent. This stance persists, even in the face of a European movement distancing itself from WPATH's unproven approach to care. We strongly urge the Court to keep these laws in place, allowing a full discovery to expose the truth of WPATH's radical and unproven agenda."
The brief highlights reporting and public statements from WPATH, casting doubt on the scientific veracity of WPATH's guidelines. One example in the brief is WPATH's Standards of Care chapter on Eunuchs.
"Lest anyone mistake it for a scientific medical organization, WPATH devoted an entire chapter in Standards of Care – 8 to 'eunuchs'—individuals' assigned male at birth' who 'wish to eliminate masculine physical features, masculine genitals, or genital functioning,"' the brief reads. "Because eunuchs' wish for a body that is compatible with their eunuch identity,' WPATH recommends 'castration to better align their bodies with their gender identity.'"
WPATH developed its eunuchs from a "large online peer-support community known as the 'Eunuch Archive,'" which boasts a fictional section of thousands of stories that "involve the sadistic sexual abuse of children."
The brief also highlights multiple examples of WPATH suppressing or censuring dissenting voices within the medical community, including some on its board.
Marshall and his office were some of the first in the nation to take this issue head-on while still offering support to other states.
In April 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey signed Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (VCAP) (SB184) into law, which prohibits doctors in Alabama from performing transgender operations or prescribing cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to individuals under 19.
VCAP went into effect May 8, 2022, but was blocked by U.S. District Judge Liles Burke a few days later. The injunction by Burke came after multiple parties added themselves as plaintiffs in a case challenging the law, including five transgender minors by way of their parents, the United States of America and Kaitlin Toyama, an attorney-advisor with the civil rights division of the DOJ.
In August 2023, the 11th Circuit ruled the district court had erroneously enjoined state officials from enforcing VCAP. Attorney General Steve Marshall's office then asked the Court to reverse the injunction, pending further litigation. Last month, the 11th Circuit granted the state's request and struck down the injunction, allowing the state to enforce VCAP while awaiting a full trial scheduled in August.
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.