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A federal judge has blocked most of a bill pushed by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that would have imposed strict restrictions on transgender health care for adults and a complete ban for children.

In his ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle rejected a common mantra of the DeSantis administration: “Gender identity is real” and the state cannot deny treatment to transgender people.

“Florida has passed a law and rules that prohibit gender reassignment surgery for minors, even when medically appropriate,” Hinkle wrote. “The ban is unconstitutional.”

The decision on a lawsuit brought by parents of transgender children and adults was celebrated by many in the LGBTQ community as a significant victory. More and more states are banning gender reassignment care for minors, but Florida’s law was the first to restrict care for adults.

The law prohibited nurses from prescribing hormones to transgender adults. Doctors were allowed to treat transgender adults, but because of the doctor shortage, most of them could not find anyone to treat them. Some left the state, but many were left without treatment.

Joey Knoll, who opened Spectrum Health in Orlando in 2018 to provide medical care to transgender people, said Hinkle’s ruling means he and his staff can immediately begin working through a backlog of more than 300 patients waiting for hormone prescriptions.

“Judge Hinkle made it very clear when he said this was a situation of hostility and discrimination,” Knoll said. “He looked at the facts and recognized that.”

DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern said the state would appeal the decision.

“Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida will continue to fight to prevent children from being chemically or physically mutilated in the name of a radical, new-age ‘gender ideology,'” Redfern wrote in an email.

One of the Floridians who filed the lawsuit, Lucien Hamel, said the decision was a relief.

“It is not the state’s place to interfere in people’s private medical decisions, and I am relieved to be able to get the medical care I need here in Florida,” Hamel said in a statement from attorneys representing him and others in the case.

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