On Friday, a Texas judge expanded an injunction blocking Governor Greg Abbott’s directive to open “child abuse” investigations against families that support their transgender children. According to ABC News, the temporary injunction bars the state from investigating members of PFLAG, who have over 600 members in Texas.
In February, Gov. Abbott directed the state Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate families who facilitated their children’s access to life-saving gender-affirming care. Shortly afterward, in March, a judge put a hold on the directive following a lawsuit from one of the families under investigation. The Texas Supreme Court overturned this ruling in May, allowing other investigations to go forward.
In July, Travis County Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary injunction blocking the investigations of two families suing the state. Meachum has now expanded that same order to cover the members of PFLAG, ruling that the families investigated would “suffer probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim.” A child abuse charge can lead to family separation, placing children in foster care.
The ruling was brought on by a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal on behalf of PFLAG and the families of three teenage boys.
“Once again a Texas court has stepped in to say what we knew from the beginning: State leaders have no business interfering with life-saving care essential for transgender youth,” said Adri Pérez, policy and advocacy strategist for ACLU Texas, in a statement. “We should trust doctors and every major medical association on how to support transgender youth. State leadership continues to attack parents for how they raise their kids — and all our plaintiffs are doing is providing unconditional love and support for children of all gender identities. We will never stop fighting for the rights, safety, and dignity of transgender Texans.”
“Today, families of transgender kids in Texas who are members of PFLAG National find shelter from Gov. Abbott’s unjust order,” Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG, added. “PFLAG, our chapters in Texas and around the country are sources of support and safety from government harm because every LGBTQ+ person deserves respect, dignity and the right to access the care they need when they need it.”
The DFPS told ABC News that it has so far opened twelve investigations since the directive was issued. Although no families have been separated as of yet, four of those investigations remain open.