Trans

Texas judge temporarily blocks child abuse investigations into families of trans kids

Lily Wakefield June 12, 2022
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Families hold placards at a rally against increasing legislative attacks on trans kids across the US

A rally against increasing legislative attacks on transgender kids across the US. (Universal Images Group via Getty/ UCG/ Michael Siluk)

A Texas judge has granted a temporary restraining order blocking “child abuse” investigations into some families who support their trans kids.

In February this year, anti-LGBTQ+ Texas governor Greg Abbott issued a directive ordering the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate families and doctors pursuing or providing gender-affirming care for trans youth for “child abuse”.

When a mother sued the state over the directive, a temporary injunction against the investigations was issued by a Texas district court in March.

Last month, the Texas Supreme Court upheld part of the case, banning an investigation into the specific plaintiff, but investigations against other families and doctors in Texas were allowed to resume.

This month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Texas filed another lawsuit on behalf of three Texas families and the organisation PFLAG against Abbott and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

The lawsuit requested that Travis County District Court “block state investigations of PFLAG families in Texas who are supporting their transgender children with medically necessary health care”.

On Friday (10 June), judge Jan Soifer granted a temporary restraining order, protecting the three plaintiff families and the roughly 600 PFLAG members in Texas from investigations, for now.

Brian K Bond, executive director of PFLAG National, said in a statement: “That Texas families will be protected from invasive, unnecessary, and unnerving investigations by DFPS simply for helping their transgender children thrive and be themselves is a very good thing.

“However, let’s be clear: These investigations into loving and affirming families shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

“PFLAG National and our chapters throughout Texas remain committed to ensuring every transgender Texan is safe, empowered, and can thrive.”

Paul D Castillo, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, added: “It is unconscionable that DFPS persists in causing more trauma and harm for these youth and these families.

“We appreciate that the judge saw this activity clearly for what it was, and moved so rapidly to halt it.”

According to NPR, a hearing has been scheduled for 21 June, where the court will decide whether the temporary restraining order blocking the “child abuse” investigations should become permanent.

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