Texas Supreme Court overturns halt to investigations into care of trans youth

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the statewide ruling on investigations into parents who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children.

However, the court also said the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is not legally required to investigate care such as child abuse based on directives from Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Attorney General. ‘State, Ken Paxton.

The court did not decide whether or not such investigations violated the rights of the families – that still depends on the lower courts.

In a Feb. 22 letter, Abbott called gender transitioning or affirmation procedures “child abuse,” following a notice from Paxton that said the same.

In this file photo from May 20, 2021, protesters gather on the steps of the State Capitol to denounce transgender-related bills pending in the Texas Senate and Texas House in Austin , in Texas.

Eric Gay/AP, FILE

Paxton attacked gender-affirming care for LGBTQ youth, saying her opinion “comes at a critical time” when “Texans see the horrors that come from the fusion of medicine and misguided ideology.”

State District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary injunction on the directive in March after hearing from the parents of a 16-year-old transgender girl who was being investigated by the DFPS. Meachum also heard from state attorneys.

Later that month, the Texas Court of Appeals upheld the injunction.

The state Supreme Court said neither the governor’s letter nor the attorney general’s opinion changed the legal obligations of DFPS and has no authority over the state agency. Governor Abbott was removed from the case, as the court says it has no authority over such investigations.

In February, the DFPS announced that it would comply with Paxton and Abbott’s directive. He was investigating at least nine families under Paxton’s direction, an agency spokesperson told ABC News.

“In summary, we are not directed to any source of law requiring DFPS to base its investigative decisions on the Governor’s letter or the Attorney General’s opinion,” the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion states.

The court will also uphold the decision to block an investigation into a family suing DFPS and Governor Greg Abbott over the directive.

According to an ACLU complaint against the state, “some doctors and other providers stopped prescribing medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria to transgender youth” as a result of Abbott’s directive.

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