In a blow to LGBTQ+ rights, the Texas Supreme Court has removed the state’s injunction banning investigations into parents of trans youth.
Back in February, Attorney General Ken Paxton released an official opinion denouncing gender-affirming care and even said that it could be considered child abuse under the state’s law.
Shortly after his harmful statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott released his own transphobic letter – which ordered Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to start investigations into parents of trans youth.
“Because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas,” he wrote.
Shortly after his archaic statements, the DFPS began conducting the aforementioned investigations – which resulted in a family of a trans teen and psychologist Megan Mooney filing a lawsuit against the state.
In the documents, the parents (who are identified as Jane Doe and John Doe) said that an investigator requested the medical records of their trans daughter – who they referred to as Mary Doe.
“We are terrified for Mary’s health and well-being and for our family,” they said in a declaration.
In response to the directives, District Judge Amy Clark Meachum implemented the statewide injunction on 11 March.
“The court finds sufficient cause to enter a temporary injunction,” she said.
This decision allows our case to continue as we fight for every young person in Texas to receive the health care they need.
Though this decision is limited to existing plaintiffs, it’s clear enforcement of this policy causes harm to youth and their families. Enough is enough.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 13, 2022
Judge Meachum also stated that Abbott’s transphobic directives were “beyond the scope of his authority and unconstitutional”.
However, on 13 May, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the statewide injunction due to the appeals court overstepping its authority.
With the block officially removed, investigations into parents of trans youth are now able to resume – aside from the aforementioned family who sued the state.
In the ruling, the Court sided with Jane and John Doe by keeping both their lawsuit – which the state requested be thrown out – and the injunction blocking any investigations intact.
Elsewhere in the ruling, the court said that Paxton and Abbott were in their legal right to release their harmful views concerning gender-affirming care. However, the court said that DSPS was not legally obligated to follow their directives.
“DFPS’s press statement, however, suggests that DFPS may have considered itself bound by either the governor’s letter, the Attorney General’s opinion, or both. Again, nothing before this Court supports the notion that DFPS is so bound,” the Court said via The Texas Tribune.
Texas is just one of the many states that has recently implemented or introduced laws attacking the rights of the transgender community.