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Lambda Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Reiyn Keohane urging the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a district court’s judgment finding that the Florida Department of Corrections violated the Eighth Amendment by denying Ms. Keohane medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria including treatment related to social transition.

The brief explains that being able to live in accord with one’s gender identity is medically necessary for transgender people, as recognized by many other courts and by the medical community, including the American Medical Association and World Professional Association for Transgender Health. The brief elevates the voices and experiences of transgender men like Ky Peterson and transgender women like Ashley Diamond, Jessica Hicklin, and Zahara Green all who suffered because they were denied the ability to socially transition in prison. We also note that the Federal Bureau of Prisons and at least 20 state Departments of Corrections’ policies recognize social transition as medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria. 

The friend-of-the-court brief includes: Lambda Legal, Center for Constitutional Rights, Black and Pink, Florida Institutional Legal Services Project of Florida Legal Services, Freedom Overground Corp., GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, The National Center for Transgender Equality, Southern Poverty Law Center, TRANScending Barriers, and the Transgender Law Center.

    • August 2016: Case is filed by Ms. Keohane
    • August 2018: District Court declares the Florida DOC “freeze-frame” policy is unconstitutional and orders that Ms. Keohane be provided with hormone therapy and permitted to socially transition.
    • September 2018: Appeal filed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • January 2019: Lambda Legal and CCR file an amicus brief in the case.
    • March 2020: In a 2-1 decision, the Eleventh Circuit vacates the district court’s order, dismisses as moot in part, and reverses in part.
    • April 2020: Petition for rehearing en banc filed by Ms. Keohane.