Showing posts with label Arkansas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arkansas. Show all posts


Case against Arkansas Transgender Youth Healthcare Ban Reaches Federal Court

Trans Rights Are Human Rights

The case against Arkansas's transgender youth healthcare ban was heard without much fanfare by a Federal appeals court on Tuesday, April 11, 2024. The en banc review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has yet to be reported on by right-wing news outlets. The Appeals Court likely will uphold the decisions by lower courts that found it unconstitutional and side with the plaintiffs.

A three-judge panel of the Eight Circuit did earlier affirm the lower court’s preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the SAFE Act in August 2022, according to Bloomberg Law

The state’s ban applies to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries to treat gender dysphoria. The lawsuit is one of several high-profile cases currently testing the rights of transgender minors to access medical care for gender dysphoria.

The Eighth Circuit is the first federal appeals court to delve into the merits of questions presented by 24 virtually identical state laws enacted between 2021 and 2024.

Upon the conclusion of today's en banc review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Brandt v. Griffin plaintiffs Dylan and Joanna Brandt, Sabrina, Lacey and Aaron Jennen, Parker and Donnie Ray Saxton, and Brooke, Amanda, and Shayne Dennis released the following statement to ACLU of Arkansas:

“We stand united in our belief that gender-affirming care is not just medical care; it is lifesaving care. This belief is not only ours, but is also supported by leading medical organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association. These institutions have publicly recognized that gender-affirming care is crucial in significantly reducing the dire physical and mental health consequences experienced by those with untreated gender dysphoria."

"Despite clear evidence and expert consensus on the importance of gender-affirming care, we find ourselves once again defending our right to access basic healthcare against political interference. It is deeply disheartening to see that, in the pursuit of their ideological agendas, some politicians are willing to disregard the well-being and rights of transgender youth. This ongoing battle, in Arkansas and across the United States, is a stark reminder of the challenges we face in ensuring that everyone has the freedom to access the care they need and deserve."

"The fact that families are relocating to find safe havens where their children can live authentically and receive necessary medical care is a testament to the current state of uncertainty and fear. It is unconscionable that in the United States, a country that prides itself on freedom and justice for all, people are forced to flee their homes to secure basic human rights. The need to seek out ‘safe states’ not only underscores the uneven landscape of rights and protections but also highlights the urgency of our fight for equality and access to healthcare."

"As we move forward, let it be known that we are not just fighting for access to medical care; we are fighting for the right to live our lives authentically and without fear. We are fighting for the future of all trans youth and their families, who deserve to live in a world where their rights are protected and their health is prioritized. We call on everyone to stand with us in this fight, to recognize the humanity and dignity of trans Arkansans, and to work towards a future where no one has to fear being themselves or accessing the care they need."

"Our voices, combined with those of medical professionals and advocates across the nation, send a clear message: gender-affirming care is essential, and the rights of transgender Arkansans are non-negotiable. We urge the courts and policymakers to heed this message, to prioritize the health and well-being of all people, not just some; and to ensure that every person has the opportunity to live their life to the fullest, as their true self, in Arkansas. Together, we can build a more inclusive and compassionate society for everyone.”

The lawsuit — which aims to overturn a 2021 Arkansas law that prohibits gender-affirming care for transgender youth — was filed by the ACLU of Arkansas, ACLU’s Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, and the law firms of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and Gill Ragon Owen.

For more on Brandt v. Griffin, click here:


Will Phillips Arkansas Fifth Grader Refuses to Pledge Allegiance until LGBT people are Equal

Ten year old Will Phillips, who's intelligence was recognized by skipping fourth grade, demonstrated extraordinary compassion and empathy when he recently sited a 1943 Supreme Court ruling and refused to recite the pledge of alliance. Phillips believes until all Americans are equally enjoying "liberty and Justice for all" the pledge is a empty verse.

This incredible young ally who's orientation is not gay, is enduring a homophobic backlash by his adolescent classmates and in all of places, Arkansas. The home of former Governor Huckabee recently enacted a state amendment to its constitution prohibiting adoption of children by same sex couples.

Arkansas is one of the most anti gay states and this according to Will is being proven true as the same children have over and again taunted him with phrases such as 'Gaywad'.

***Update December 3, 2009***
I have been contacted separately by Will's mother and father. Both are very grateful for the emails and phone calls in support of Will. Both are happy that Will is now focused on his school work and both are satisfied with the response from the school. It would seem at this time continued contact with the school is not necessary at this time.~kelli

Please take action "Support Will Phillips" by emailing the The West Fork School District.

Sample email:

Dr. Naccaman Williams
Chair of the State Board of Education.
Mailing Address: 2807 Brookshire St., Springdale, AR 72762

Deborah Harnish
President West Forks District Board
359 School Ave, West Fork, AR 72774
(479) 839-2231

Re: Protect educational integrity and protecting Will Phillips from bullying.

Dear Deborah Harnish and Dr. Naccaman Williams,

It has come to my attention that a substitute teacher in your district has attempted to intimidate and bully a student, Will Phillips, into doing something that was against that students better judgement and moral values. Phillips decision not to participate in reciting the pledge of allegiance was in fact, a constitutional right protected by a supreme court ruling.

The student Will Philips, has since then reported becoming the subject of homophobic bullying even though Will Phillips himself does not identify as gay.

I am asking that you require this teacher to apologize for attempting to intimidate Phillips, and that the school principal make a announcement that the school respects individual rights and the school will not allow harassment within it's walls. This would send a message to your students and teachers that bullying is not acceptable.

I wold also ask that you require your teachers to make a speical effort to be attentive and aware of bullying and to stop it immediately when it is apparent. These actions will save lives and allow your schools to pursue the American ideals that are set forth in the Pledge of Allegiance and so valued by Will Phillips.

Thank you
Kelli Anne Busey
Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies


On the Web:

West Fork School District

Edge San Francisco article Arkansas 10-Year-Old Won’t Pledge Allegiance Until Gays Gain Equality

Arkansas Times article A boy and his flag
Why Will won’t pledge


Arkansas Grass Roots Group 'CAR' Partners With “Know Thy Neighbor” to Publish Act 1 Ballot Initiative Signatures

Who signed the anti-gay adoption and foster care petition in Arkansas? list linked at bottom of post

Repeal Act 1 March from Center for Artistic Revolution on Vimeo.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A conservative group says it may ask Arkansas lawmakers to block the release of petition-signers’ personal information after a group posted the list of voters who had signed petitions to put adoption and foster parenting restrictions on last year’s ballot. on April 28 posted a list of voters who signed petitions to put an initiated act banning unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children on the ballot. Voters approved the act, which took effect Jan. 1.

The Arkansas Family Council, which pushed for the act, complained that placing that list online violated the privacy of voters who signed petitions. The council says it will ask Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for an advisory opinion on whether the information can be released.

On the Web

Gay and Lesbian Times AP Article "Ark. group seeks to restrict petition information"

Arkansas Ballot Arkansas Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban (2008)

Opponents of Act 1 Center For Artistic Revolution

Proponent organization of ACT 1 Adoption Ban Family Action Council Committee

Publisher of signatures of Act a Signatures Know Thy

Who signed the anti-gay adoption and foster care petition in Arkansas? Click Here to Find OUT! "NOTE: CAR DOES NOT advocate any derogatory actions based on the publication of the Act 1 petition signatures information. Our intention in publishing the list is to shine the light while promoting and furthering the dialog regarding equality in Arkansas."

By Kelli Busey
May 8, 2009