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Tipsheet

Texas Judge Halts Investigations Into Parents of Transgender Minors for Child Abuse

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Investigations of parents with transgender children in Texas were temporarily halted on Friday after a state court ruled that the policy violated the state’s constitution. The policy was ordered by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott last month.

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The New York Times reported that the injunction was issued by Democrat Judge Amy Clark Meachum in Travis County, Texas. The injunction “stemmed from a legal challenge by the parents of a 16-year-old transgender girl,” the report stated. The teen’s family was among the first to be investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. 

As Townhall covered, the investigations were launched following an order by Abbott and a “non binding” opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that said parents who provide their minor children with puberty-suppressing drugs or other “gender-affirming” treatments could be investigated for child abuse. Reportedly, one of the first families to be investigated was an employee of the state.

The Times noted that the policy is now halted until at least July pending a trial on this issue.

“In issuing the ruling, which came after a day of testimony, Judge Meachum said the governor’s actions, and those of the agency, ‘violate separation of powers by impermissibly encroaching into the legislative domain.’ She said there was a ‘substantial likelihood’ that plaintiffs would prevail after a trial on the merits because the governor’s order was ‘unconstitutional.’

The ruling applied to all investigations initiated across Texas under Mr. Abbott’s order, which the court said could no longer be enforced pending a trial on the issue, set for July.

Though it was not clear how many inquiries had already been initiated, several parents of transgender children had come forward in recent weeks to say they had been contacted by officials from the state agency about the treatment their children had received.”

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In an interview with Townhall, Paxton said that section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code specifies that certain procedures and prescriptions on minors are all “abuse” under the code. 

"Here, the answer is clear regarding so-called sex-change procedures, puberty blockers, and hormone therapies. When performed on children, these procedures are 'abuse' under Texas law. They’re illegal. And family courts, family-law government agencies, and the like must do their part to stop it," Paxton told Townhall. 

“The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly,” Paxton said in a press release. “I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans.”

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