MIAMI, FLA., - Today, the Florida Department of Health issued non-binding and non-scientific guidance to care providers regarding gender-affirming care. In the guidance, the Florida Department of Health opposes science-backed guidance from medical experts regarding gender-affirming care, including social transition care, for youth under the age of 18. 

Daniel Tilley, legal director for the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following comment: 

"This non-binding guidance is in direct opposition to advice from every major medical organization in the country. Across the country and in Florida, lawmakers have enacted sweeping attacks on transgender people — particularly transgender youth. Just a few weeks ago, the governor signed a bill into law that would erase LGBTQ+ issues, families, and youth from classroom discussions. Now, the Florida Department of Health is attempting to demonize life-saving, critical, medically-necessary healthcare for transgender youth. It is simply despicable and wrong. 

“Care providers, doctors, and science have been clear that gender-affirming care is safe, effective, and evidence-based, and that it’s literally lifesaving. While this guidance is non-binding and currently not enforceable, we know that the impact will stoke fear among transgender youth, their parents, and their health care providers. 

“Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health are spewing dangerous political propaganda at the expense of youth and their families. Parents and youth, in consultation with doctors they trust, should make decisions about their healthcare, not the government. The governor is once again attempting to distract Floridians from the real challenges we face because he has failed to advance solutions for so many of them. 

“Transgender youth have a constitutional and moral right to the same opportunities afforded to their peers. We stand by ready to do everything in our power to defend these fundamental rights of trans youth and their families.”