Texas judge blocks probe into care of trans youth

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called the gender-claiming care “child abuse.”

A Texas judge has blocked state agencies from investigating gender-confirmation care for transgender youth as child abuse.

The District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary injunction Friday after hearing the parents of a young transgender girl of 16 who were being investigated by the Department of Family and Protective Services Texas. Meachum also heard government lawyers.

According to the DFPS, there are at least nine similar investigations opened as a result of the Attorney General’s advice on trans care.

Legal Lamda, who along with the American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of the 16-year-old girl, welcomed the decision on Friday.

“Parents who love their transgender children and work with health care providers to support and affirm their well-being should be celebrated, rather than viewed as criminals as the state has sought to do here,” Paul Castillo, lead attorney for Lambda Legal, said in a statement. “We are grateful that the judge issued an order today preventing the enforcement of these statewide guidelines against any family in Texas, and made it clear that no person who counts as a mandatory reporter can be forced to report families for investigation simply for doing what is right for their child.”

“We will continue to fight with trans youth, their parents and their doctors until all trans people are affirmed and have access to the care they need,” the ACLU said. wrote on Twitter.

The opinion drafted by state Attorney General Ken Paxton last month said that “there is no question that these proceedings are ‘abuses’ under Texas law, and therefore must be interrupted”.

He continued: “The Department of Family and Protective Services Texas (DFPS) has the responsibility to act accordingly I will do everything I can to protect myself against those who profit and harm to young Texans..”

The next day, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a letter, ordering the DFPS to investigate such treatment as child abuse.

“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 all reported instances of these abusive procedures. in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. in the letter of February 22.

Meachum had previously blocked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from investigating the 16-year-old girl’s family.

Several companies, including Ikea, Google, Apple, Meta, Johnson & Johnson, PayPal, Capital One and Electronic Arts spoke out against the bill in a full-page ad in The Dallas Morning News.

“The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping his transgender youth to access medically necessary and appropriate health care at his age in the state of Texas is against the values of our companies,” said a letter signed by companies.

Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the HRC, said misinformation has been at the center of recent anti-LGBTQ efforts, including the Texas directive.

She told ABC News that she believes fearmongering has painted a picture of trans youth that is “completely wrong.”

She said that for many young children, transitioning means using a name and pronoun that works for them and introducing themselves in a way that works for them.

She said that when puberty strikes, medical intervention can begin through puberty blockers, which temporarily interrupt puberty for children and families evaluate their kind of course. “No one performs surgeries on children. There are no amputations,” she said.

“They literally put the lives of trans kids at risk,” she said, referring to the mental health issues trans youth face as a result of discrimination.

“It’s incumbent on us to really educate people about what it means to be a trans kid because I think the only reason people buy into that kind of rhetoric is for even unbiased people to wonder what it means to be a trans kid. .trans youth, she says.

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