Maryland files official opposition to “gender-affirming care” ban bill in Oklahoma

20 November 2023- Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown joined a multistate coalition in opposing a state law in Oklahoma that blocks transgender youth from what he calls “critical, lifesaving gender-affirming care.”

The plaintiffs in Poe v. Drummond are suing to block Oklahoma’s Senate Bill (SB) 613, which restricts medical treatment for transgender minors seeking gender-affirming care. After the district court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against SB 613, plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Today, the coalition filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, arguing that Oklahoma’s ban on gender-affirming care violates equal protection and stressing the importance of gender-affirming care for the health and well-being of transgender youth.

“Everyone has a fundamental right to receive quality healthcare, and transgender youth are no exception,” said Attorney General Brown. “I stand firmly alongside my colleagues across several states in denouncing this harmful legislation that violates equal protection for all.”

Oklahoma’s SB 613 seeks to block transgender youth’s access to medical treatment, such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers, that help to treat gender dysphoria. In today’s brief, the coalition supported the plaintiffs’ lawsuit seeking to block the enforcement of SB 613, arguing that the law:

  • Significantly harms the health and lives of transgender people by denying them medically necessary care that protects their physical, emotional, and psychological health;
  • Is discriminatory and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by banning medical treatment for transgender youth based on their gender identity;
  • Fails to recognize how inclusive laws and policies have benefited transgender
    individuals; and
  • Does not satisfy heightened scrutiny because a complete ban on medically necessary healthcare is not substantially related to Oklahoma’s asserted interests.

In filing the brief, Attorney General Brown joins the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.