Another lawsuit in Texas aims to block abuse investigations against parents of transgender children

Another lawsuit in Texas aims to block abuse investigations against parents of transgender children

Another lawsuit in Texas aims to block abuse investigations against parents of transgender children

Three Texas families on Wednesday sued the state to stop investigating them over gender-affirming medical treatments their transgender children received, in a renewed challenge to the state investigating treatments such as child abuse.

The lawsuit also asks a Texas judge to block the state from opening similar investigations against Texas members of LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG Inc.

The lawsuit comes about a month after the Texas Supreme Court allowed the state to investigate parents of transgender youth for child abuse, while also ruling in favor of a family that was among the first to be approached by child welfare officials following an order from Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

The latest challenge, filed by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, seeks a new broad injunction against the investigations. “If a court order is needed to ensure the law protects families who lovingly lead transgender Texans, so be it,” Brian K. Bond, executive director of PFLAG National, said in a statement.

Spokespersons for Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton did not immediately return messages on Wednesday afternoon.

Texas went further than any state in February when Abbott issued a warrant directing child welfare officials to investigate reports of gender-affirming care for children as abuse.

A judge in March put that order on hold after a lawsuit brought on behalf of a 16-year-old girl whose family said it was under investigation. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in May that the lower court exceeded its authority by blocking all investigations.

The lawsuit was the first report from parents under investigation under Abbott’s directive and a previous non-binding legal opinion from Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton that labeled certain gender-affirming treatments as “child abuse.” The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has said it has opened nine investigations in response to the guideline and advice.

Abbott’s directive and the attorney general’s opinion conflict with the nation’s largest medical groups, including the American Medical Association, which have opposed Republican-backed restrictions filed in state houses across the country.

Wednesday’s lawsuit in Texas was filed on behalf of families of three boys — two 16-year-olds and one 14-year-old — who were receiving hormone therapy. In court files, the families spoke of the fear they have faced because of the Texas investigations.

The mother of one of the teens said her son attempted suicide and was hospitalized the day Abbott issued his directive. The outpatient psychiatric facility the teen was referred to reported the family for child abuse after learning he had been prescribed hormone therapy, she said in a lawsuit.

“I am offended and hurt that my state government wants to make it illegal for trans youth like me to be ourselves, and that the DFPS, the governor and the attorney general are willing to prosecute families like mine simply because they love their trans children and support them. ’ said another teen in the court file.

Arkansas was the first state last year to pass a law banning gender-affirming treatment for minors, and Tennessee passed a similar measure. A judge blocked Arkansas’ law, and the state is appealing.