Texas’ child welfare agency is once again blocked from investigating parents who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children. The injunction applies to any family that belongs to PFLAG, an LGBTQ advocacy group with more than 600 members in Texas.
The injunction also specifically protects a handful of families named in the suit, including the Briggles, outspoken advocates for transgender youth who were among the first to be investigated under this directive.
This is the latest chapter in a monthslong legal battle over whether providing medically indicated gender-affirming health care, under the guidance of a doctor, could result in a finding of child abuse by the state.
In February, following a nonbinding legal opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children.
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that Abbott had no grounds to direct DFPS to investigate these families but overturned a statewide injunction on procedural grounds.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal brought another lawsuit after that first injunction was overturned, seeking protections on behalf of all members of PFLAG. Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum granted that injunction Friday, three months after hearing arguments.
See here for the previous update and here for a copy of the ruling. This injunction will benefit a lot more families as noted by the story, but we know that it will be appealed and ultimately the Supreme Court will have the final word, so celebrate responsibly. Assuming it hasn’t been mooted by that point, there will be a trial on the merits in Judge Meachum’s court next June. The ACLU, Lambda Legal, Amber Briggle, and the Chron have more.