Tennessee officials responded to the Biden administration’s lawsuit against the state over its law banning transgender hormone treatments and surgeries for minors, promising to fight to uphold the law and stand up for children.
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said that the state would “vigorously” fight to keep the law in place. “The federal government has joined the ACLU and an elite New York law firm in attacking a bipartisan law that protects children from irreversible harm. I welcome the opportunity to litigate these issues and vigorously defend Tennessee’s laws,” Skrmetti said in a statement.
Republican Governor Bill Lee said that the suit was an example of the overreach of the federal government.
“Tennessee is committed to protecting children from permanent, life-altering decisions. This is federal overreach at its worst, and we will work with Attorney General Skrmetti to push back in court and stand up for children,” he said.
Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland), the representative who introduced the bill in the House, said that the suit did not come as a surprise, but that the state would continue to fight back against transgender ideology.
“This attack from President Biden’s radical left administration is not unexpected. Under no circumstance will Tennessee allow a child to undergo a procedure that destroys their normal, healthy development into adulthood. We will continue to fight back against this cruel ideology that irreversibly harms children. Gender dysphoria is a mental health disorder that should be treated with love and understanding, therapy, and other appropriate interventions,” Lamberth said in a statement obtained by The Daily Wire.
According to the DOJ, Tennessee’s ban on transgender treatments for minors violates the Equal Protection Clause. The law discriminates against “transgender youth” diagnosed with gender dysphoria, blocking transgender treatments for them “while allowing non-transgender minors access to the same or similar procedures,” the DOJ claims.
Lee signed the bill into law in March, but it is not scheduled to take effect until July. After July 1, it will bar doctors from giving patients puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgery if they are under the age of 18. The bill received bipartisan support in the state legislature.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also condemned the lawsuit. “We are trying to protect children from a radical left agenda that has permanent & irreversible consequences for our children’s health and well-being,” she said. “It is a gross federal overreach for Biden’s DOJ to try to override the state’s judgment about how best to protect kids.”