Texas judge temporarily stops investigations into transgender parents

Republican Governor. Greg Abbott, Republican Governor.

Texas judge temporarily stops investigations into transgender parents

On Friday, a Texas judge issued an injunction to stop the enforcement of Governor's Order to Investigate Gender-affirming Care as Child Abuse. This gave opponents of the policy a temporary victory.

Amy Clark Meachum, District Judge, wrote that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's February 22 directive to the Department of Family and Protective Services was beyond his authority. 22 directive to Department of Family and Protective Services was outside the authority of Greg Abbott and unconstitutional.

Meachum wrote that the directive had the effect of a new or amended law, but no law was passed. The actions "violate separation by powers by impermissibly entering into the legislative domain".

Last year, the state legislature failed to pass a bill which would have made it a crime to provide gender-affirming services to minors.

American Civil Liberties Union was one of the groups that challenged the Feb. 22, directive and praised Friday's court decision.

"The judge recognized DFPS and the governor's actions as unconstitutional and unauthorized exercises of power that causes severe and immediate and devastating harms for transgender youth across Texas," Chase Strangio (deputy director for Trans Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union) stated in a statement.

Abbott's office didn't immediately respond to my request for comment.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a non-binding opinion that providing gender-affirming health care to minors was child cruelty. He immediately promised to appeal the injunction.

Paxton supported a February 22 letter by Abbottto Texas Department of Family and Protect Services, directing the agency investigate children who have received "abusive gender transitioning procedures".

More than 60 companies signed a protest letter against Abbott's directive. It was published in the Dallas Morning News Friday. The full-page advertisement was entitled "Discrimination hurts business."

Last week Meachum issued a restraining or to stop DFPS looking into the family members of a transgender 16-year-old child. They were told that they were being investigated.

A lawsuit was filed by the family of the 16 year-old. It claimed that Abbott had "circumvented" the will of the legislature by issuing the directive. The policy was argued to violate the constitutional rights of transgender kids, their families, and medical professionals.

The lawsuit states that "their actions caused terror, anxiety among transgender young people and their families across Texas' Lone Star State" and that they targeted transgender youths and their families.

Friday's order from Meachum is valid throughout the state.

Megan Mooney is another plaintiff in the suit. She is a psychologist who would have to report transgender clients as per the governor's directive. In the lawsuit, she claimed that her compliance with the directive would be against her professional ethics and cause harm to her patients.

Zenei Triunfo Cortez, president and CEO of National Nurses United (the largest association of registered nurses across the U.S.), called Abbott's directive an attempt at preventing transgender youth, their parents, and providers from receiving the best care.

Triunfo Cortez stated in a statement that while it is easy to dismiss these attacks as political gamesmanship (and they are), they pose a serious threat to the existence, health, and future of transgender individuals.

The directive was issued one week before the Texas primary elections, when Abbott faced many challengers from his right. Former President Donald Trump endorsed the governor. He finished with more than 50% of the vote. will be facing Democrat Beto O'Rourke during the fall, as he seeks a three-term.


 

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