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Texas Court Blocks State From Investigating More Trans Youth and Their Families

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July 8, 2022
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Today the Travis County District Court entered a second injunction against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Commissioner Masters, barring them from implementing the agency’s rule expanding the definition of child abuse to presumptively treat the provision of gender affirming care as child abuse against two more families, Mirabel Voe and her son Antonio, and Wanda Roe and her son Tommy.

The injunction bars DFPS from implementing the rule by investigating these families based solely on allegations that they are providing gender affirming care to their adolescents, or taking any action in open investigations other than to close them so long as DFPS can do so without making further contact with the families. The Court is still considering the request for additional injunctive relief to protect the other clients, the Briggle family and Texas PFLAG members with transgender children.

Today’s ruling came in the lawsuit, PFLAG v. Abbott, filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the ACLU of Texas, and the law firm of Baker Botts LLP. The legal organizations issued the following statement:

“We are gratified that the Court reiterated that the DFPS rule is unlawful and changed the status quo for Texas transgender youth and their families. The Court recognized yet again that being subjected to an unlawful and unwarranted investigation causes irreparable harm for these families who are doing nothing more than caring for and affirming their children and seeking the best course of care for them in consultation with their medical providers. We are confident that the Court will continue to recognize those harms as it considers the injunction we have requested for PFLAG families, including the Briggles.

“An hour after the District Court's ruling, Texas has already filed an appeal, seeking permission to continue their persecution of transgender youth and their families. But every court to consider the actions of these Texas officials has recognized both their unlawfulness and the irreparable harms they cause to these families. We will not stop fighting until all Texas families are protected.

“We encourage all families across the state of Texas impacted by the DFPS Rule to reach out to Lambda Legal’s Help Desk at https://www.lambdalegal.org/helpdesk.”

Read today’s decision in PFLAG v. Abbott here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/pflag-v-abbott_tx_20220708_order-granting-voes-and-roes-applications-for-temporary-injunction-0

Read more about the lawsuit here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/pflag-v-abbott

Read about the earlier lawsuit here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/doe-v-abbott