The Supreme Court declined to take up a case on whether state and local governments can enforce laws banning transgender treatment for LGBTQ+ children.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case over whether state and local governments can enforce laws banning transgender therapy for LGBTQ+ children.
In a dissent by three conservative justices, the court rejected Washington’s appeal, which upheld the law. An appellate panel struck down Florida’s local bans on counselors’ speech as unconstitutional.
The high court often steps in when appeals courts disagree, and in separate opinions, Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said the standard could easily be met in a dispute over transplant bans.
Thomas wrote that his colleague Washington should take the case because “licensed counselors cannot voice anything but a state-sanctioned opinion on minors with gender dysphoria without facing punishment.”
The court’s decision to avoid litigation from Washington comes as efforts to limit the rights of LGBTQ+ children are spreading across the country.
Half of the states prohibit the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through counseling.
Brian Dingley, a family counselor in Washington, sued over a 2018 state law that threatens therapists involved in alternative therapies with losing their licenses. Dingley says the law violates his free speech rights. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in a split decision.
The Supreme Court has previously rejected several challenges to state bans, but those cases reached the court before a 5-4 ruling in 2018 in which the justices ruled that the state of California could not compel state-licensed anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide information. Abortion.
Since a 2018 ruling, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has struck down local Florida bans.