Families of Trans Teens File New Lawsuit Over Texas Abuse Investigations
TThree Texas families sued Wednesday the state to stop their investigations over the gender-confirming treatment that their transgender kids received. It is now a fresh challenge for the state to investigate such child abuse.
In the lawsuit, a Texas judge asks for a halt to any state investigations that could be opened against members of Texas LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG Inc.
This lawsuit is filed just a month after Texas Supreme Court granted the state permission to examine parents of transgender children for child abuse. It also ruled in favor of one family, who was first contacted child welfare officers following an order from Republican Governor. Greg Abbott.
Lambda Legal and American Civil Liberties Union are suing for a broad injunction against all investigations. “If it takes a court ruling to ensure that the law protects families who lead with love in support of transgender Texans, so be it.” Brian K. Bond, executive director of PFLAG National, said in a statement.
Continue reading: ‘I’m Just Waiting for Someone to Knock on the Door.’ Parents of Trans Kids in Texas Fear Family Protective Services Will Target Them
Late Wednesday afternoon, Spokespeople from Attorney General Ken Paxton and Abbott did not return messages.
Texas made it more than any other state with the February order by Abbott directing child welfare officials in Texas to investigate allegations of children being abused because they had received gender-confirming care.
After a suit brought by a girl aged 16, a judge put the order in limbo. The family claimed that it was being investigated. In May, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that it was too broad in its jurisdiction and blocked all further investigations.
The lawsuit marked the first report of parents being investigated following Abbott’s directive and an earlier nonbinding legal opinion by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton labeling certain gender-confirming treatments as “child abuse.” The Texas Department of Family and Protective Service has said it opened nine investigations following the directive and opinion.
Abbott’s directive and the attorney general’s opinion go against the nation’s largest medical groups, including the American Medical Association, which have opposed Republican-backed restrictions filed in statehouses nationwide.
Continue reading: America is changing how it views gender: The Pride and pain of one generation
Wednesday’s lawsuit in Texas was filed on behalf of families of three boys — two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old — who have been receiving hormone therapy. In court filings, the families talked about the anxiety they’ve faced because of Texas’ investigations.
According to the mother of one teenager, her son had attempted suicide. She was taken into hospital on the date Abbott’s directive was issued. In a court filing, the mother of the teenage victim stated that her son was admitted to an outpatient mental facility. After being told that he was prescribed hormone therapy she reported it to child abuse.
“I am offended and hurt that my state government wants to make it unlawful for trans youth like me to be ourselves, and that DFPS, the governor and the attorney general are willing to persecute families like mine simply for loving and supporting their trans children,” another teens said in the court filing.
Arkansas was the first to approve a law that prohibits gender-confirming procedures for minors. Tennessee has a similar bill. A judge blocked Arkansas’ law, and the state is appealing.
Acacia Coronado from Austin, Texas was the Associated Press reporter who contributed to this article
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