Congratulations to our great colleagues and allies at Lambda Legal and the ACLU for a tremendous victory for transgender people.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District for Wisconsin ruled yesterday that the 2005 Wisconsin law prohibiting transgender prisoners from accessing hormone therapy is unconstitutional. The Court found that the law (Wis. Stat. §302.386(5m)) was unconstitutional because it violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal represented the plaintiffs, who were convicted of nonviolent crimes. Both plaintiffs are transgender women who were on hormone therapy before they were incarcerated.
NCTE supports the Court’s decision because individuals’ medical decisions should be made between doctors and patients. Lawmakers should not be enacting discriminatory laws that withhold necessary medical treatments from a specific population. Additionally, laws like the one at issue in this case codify outmoded stereotypes and beliefs that have no basis on science and accepted medical standards of care. Medical organizations like the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health recognize that hormone therapy and other transition-related care are medically necessary for transgender people.
NCTE congratulates the ACLU and Lambda Legal for their huge win for the transgender community.