Home FloridaPhoenix.com Florida Sues Biden Administration For New Regulations Protecting Gender-Affirming Care

Florida Sues Biden Administration For New Regulations Protecting Gender-Affirming Care



Republican State Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a lawsuit Monday against new Biden administration regulations defending access to common medical treatments for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

The regulations that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued Monday state that blanket exclusions in services that single out transgender people are “presumptively discriminatory on the basis of sex.” Those guidelines for sex-based discrimination also encompass gender identity, according to the regulations.

The agency crafted specific provisions related to gender-affirming care “given the widespread discriminatory denial of care for such services and its direct connection to an individual’s transgender status.”

Faith Based Events

While the federal regulations are set to go into effect on July 5, Moody is asking the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida in Tampa to throw out the rules, which seemingly go against the state’s ban on gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers, for minors and the restrictions for what kind of providers can treat trans adults seeking treatment for gender dysphoria.

For the duration of the case, Moody requested that the court issue a temporary injunction exempting Florida agencies from enforcing the rules.

Florida’s gender-affirming care landscape

“Florida passed a law to protect our children from dangerous, irreversible gender-transition drugs and surgeries,” Moody wrote in a Tuesday press release. “Now, Biden and his federal bureaucrats are trying to go around our child-protection law to force the state to pay for puberty blockers and gender-transition surgery for children. These rules trample states’ power to protect their own citizens and we will not stand by as Biden tries, yet again, to use the force of the federal government to unlawfully stifle Florida’s effort to protect children.”

However, the regulations from the federal agencies don’t state that a healthcare provider would have to give gender-affirming care to a trans patient. Instead, it states that providers should determine treatment on a case-by-case basis.

“Nothing in this rule impedes covered entities from taking nondiscriminatory actions based on current medical standards and evidence, such as making decisions about the timing or type of protocols appropriate for care. The rule does not (and cannot) require a specific standard of care or course of treatment for any individual, minor or adult,” the rules state.

But Florida’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors and the restrictions for adults are also wrapped up in a legal challenge in a federal court in Tallahassee. The trial for the case brought by transgender children, their parents and transgender adults took place in December but the judge has yet to rule.

Equality Florida, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, condemned the lawsuit in a statement to Florida Phoenix.

“DeSantis and Attorney General Moody’s lawsuit is another taxpayer-funded distraction so Floridians won’t notice that their insurance rates continue to skyrocket as Florida has the highest rate of inflation in the country and the lowest rate of teacher pay,” the group wrote. “Everyone deserves respect and the freedom to seek best-practice healthcare, but our Governor is hellbent on denigrating transgender Floridians and overruling parents’ ability to obtain essential care for their transgender child.”

Complaint arguments

Moody filed the 84-page complaint — with dozens of additional exhibits and other documents on behalf of the state of Florida, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Management Services and the Catholic Medical Association and its director Mario Dickerson.

The defendants were listed as Department of Health and Human Services; Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Melanie Fontes Rainer, in her official capacity as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, in her official capacity as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

In the complaint, she argues that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Spending Clause because the agencies didn’t have the power to change the definition of sex-based discrimination and tie federal funding based on states’ compliance with those rules.

“Under the OCR Rules, Florida now faces the untenable choice of surrendering its power to protect the health and safety of Floridians or losing billions of dollars in federal funding without adequate notice that this would be part of the bargain,” Moody wrote in the complaint.

The lawsuit also includes arguments that the regulations would violate the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) members’ freedom of religion and speech.

“CMA and its members hold the position that gender-transition procedures are unethical and dangerous. Providing, facilitating, referring for, or endorsing gender-transition efforts violates their medical views, their core religious beliefs, and their oath to ‘do no harm,’” Moody wrote in the lawsuit. “CMA’s members have medical and ethical positions contrary to the 2024 Rules’ requirements, and they also have overlapping religious objections. It is within CMA’s advocacy mission to advocate and litigate for its members’ right to the conscientious and faithful practice of medicine.”

Just last month, Moody joined other states in challenging new Biden administration rules protecting transgender people from discrimination in schools, colleges, and universities.

The post Florida sues Biden administration for new regulations protecting gender-affirming care appeared first on Florida Phoenix.

This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.

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