ST. LOUIS—A judge has rejected a bid to block a new state law banning gender-transition medical treatments for minors, three days before the law goes into effect.

Lawyers last month sued to overturn the law on behalf of three families of transgender minors, doctors and two LGBTQ+ organizations. They asked a county judge to temporarily block the law as the court challenge against it plays out.

The law, signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson in June, would prohibit Missouri health care providers from providing puberty blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgeries to minors for four years. Minors prescribed puberty blockers or hormones before Aug. 28 could continue to receive those treatments.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs' wrote in a court filing that the law unlawfully discriminates against transgender patients “by denying them medically necessary care and insurance coverage because of their sex and because of their transgender status.”

In court briefs, the Attorney General's Office argued that the law is not discriminatory because it “applies evenly to boys and girls." 

“The only distinction made is based on the condition to be treated,” lawyers for the office wrote. "Puberty blockers, testosterone, and estrogen can all still be used to treat various conditions (such as precocious puberty). They just cannot be used as an experimental response to gender dysphoria.”

In a Friday afternoon ruling, Judge Steven Ohmer said the plaintiffs failed to show probable success on Constitutional challenges and that they “have not clearly shown a sufficient threat of irreparable injury absent injunctive relief.”

“A clear public interest would not be furthered by granting a preliminary injunction in this matter,” Ohmer said, adding that “the science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear.”

In a social media post, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey celebrated the decision. "I’ve said from day one as Attorney General that I will fight to ensure that Missouri is the safest state in the nation for children. This is a huge step in that direction. What a day."

A status hearing on the case is set for Sept. 22 in St. Louis.