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Court upholds order to drop child abuse investigation in transgender Texas teen’s family

Austin, Texas– For LGBTQ mental health support, call the Trevor Project’s 24-hour toll-free support line at 866-488-7386. You can also reach a trained crisis counselor through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 800-273-8255 or texting 741741.

A Texas appeals court sided with the parents of a transgender teenager in a ruling Wednesday, rejecting Attorney General Ken Paxton’s efforts to allow a child molestation investigation.

The video above is from a previous story.

The ruling will allow a lower court to hold a hearing scheduled for Friday where attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal will ask a judge to block the state from opening child abuse investigations against parents receiving gender-affirming care have their transgender children.

SEE ALSO: Texas Children’s Hospital halts hormone-related prescription therapies for transgender children

“This crisis in Texas continues every day, with heads of state arming the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families, invade their privacy and trample on the rights of parents simply for guiding their children to the best possible health care provide from physicians and medical best practices. This appeal has always been baseless and the DFPS and the courts must stop this egregious government overreach,” said Brian Klosterboer, attorney for the ACLU in Texas.

The attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a non-binding legal opinion in mid-February, Paxton equated gender-affirming care with child abuse. Gov. Greg Abbott followed up with a letter directing Texas Child Protective Services to investigate families who provide this care to their children.

ALSO SEE: Texas Parents of Trans Youth Concerned About Gov. Abbott’s Policy on Gender-Assert Procedures

While most gender-affirming treatments focus on “social transition” — allowing a child to express their gender however they choose — some transgender children take puberty blockers, a fully reversible medical treatment prescribed for a variety of situations beyond transition will. Paxton and Abbott also cited concerns about gender-affirming surgeries, which are rarely, if ever, used on children.

Since Abbott issued his order on Feb. 22, the state has opened at least five child protection investigations into parents of trans children, although the actual number could be much higher. The state has declined to state the number of ongoing investigations, citing the pending litigation.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal have sued on behalf of a state employee who has a trans child and claims she was placed on leave and was investigated by CPS after asking questions about the policy.

Last week, District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued an injunction preventing the state from investigating the family. Paxton immediately appealed that verdict, and on Wednesday the Texas Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it had no jurisdiction to proceed.

SEE ALSO: ACLU sues Texas for implementing “lawless and dangerous new policies” on transgender children

Meachum also scheduled a hearing for Friday to hear arguments about whether a restraining order should be granted pending trial and whether it should extend to all parents of transgender children.

This is an evolving story; Check back for more.

Correction, March 9, 2022: A previous version incorrectly reported that a judge would issue a restraining order on Friday. The injunction would be limited until the trial.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that educates and collaborates with Texans on public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

https://abc13.com/texas-court-investigation-into-transgender-teen-family-child-abuse-lgbtq-laws-in/11636838/ Court upholds order to drop child abuse investigation in transgender Texas teen’s family

Dais Johnston

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