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Unfolding Situation

TX Attorney General Ken Paxton’s non-binding opinion and Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive to the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) about best-practice, life-saving healthcare for transgender youth.

Update: The Texas Supreme Court has overturned the statewide injunction blocking investigations of families with transgender youth based solely on the healthcare they receive. Check below for more legal updates.

May 13, 2022 – AUSTIN, TEXAS Today the Texas Supreme Court weighed in on Gov. Abbott’s directive to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate parents that provide life-saving gender-affirming care to their children. The court was considering an appellate court’s decision to affirm an injunction that prevents DFPS from investigating the families of trans kids. That injunction prevented DFPS or the Governor from investigating families. Today, Texas’ highest court said that the Governor does not have the authority to investigate families or to direct DFPS to do so. While the court’s ruling narrows the scope of the injunction, it unequivocally states that the Governor was acting beyond the scope of his authority.

The Court narrowed the injunction on a technicality—the appeals court was only allowed to consider the potential harm to the plaintiffs, not the harm to all families in Texas. Therefore, the family involved in this dispute and Dr. Megan Mooney will remain protected under the injunction finding that DFPS’s actions were unlawful and caused irreparable harm. It would be unconscionable for DFPS to resume investigations. The Governor's Directive is not the law and DFPS is not obligated to follow it.

Political leaders in our state, like Abbott and Paxton, have continuously focused on falsely stoking fear, and trying to criminalize transgender young people and their families. It is indefensible for any state leader to weaponize the child welfare system. Loving families belong together; providing life-saving care, recognized by every major medical association, is the epitome of love. Transgender youth deserve to be happy, safe, and—most importantly—alive.

The Court today ruled that the Governor cannot play politics with DFPS. The Governor’s misinformed and malicious opinions do not change DFPS’s mandate. Our coalition of organizations fighting for LGBTQ+ equality calls upon DFPS to end the investigations into trans kids and their families. We trust families and their doctors to make the best decisions about their children’s health care. Trans youth belong here in the state they call home, to live authentically as who they are, and have the right to bodily autonomy. The parents that protect and support them deserve to be celebrated not investigated. 

Gender Affirming Care in Texas: What Parents and Guardians Need to Know from Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Texas

Navigating the Paxton Opinion from Equality Texas

Note: Check this space for upcoming additional resources with tailored information for professions that receive training in mandatory reporting

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