Three families of transgender teens sue to stop Texas child abuse investigations

Three Texas families have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s investigations into parents who provide their transgender children with gender reassignment surgeries.

The latest lawsuit was filed on behalf of the families by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Texas, and law firm Baker Botts LLP.

The lawsuit seeks to block the state from investigating any families that belong to PFLAG, an advocacy group for parents and family members of LGBTQ+ people.

The lawsuit argues the governor and DFPS are violating the constitutional and legal rights of transgender children and their parents. Filed on Wednesday in Travis County, the suit names Gov. Greg Abbott, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and its commissioner, Jaime Masters, as defendants.

“The Defendants have, without constitutional or statutory authority, acted to create a new definition of ‘child abuse’ that singles out a subset of loving parents for scrutiny, investigation, and potential family separation,” the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, a 16-year-old transgender boy tried to kill himself the same day that Abbott issued the child abuse directive. “[He] said that the political environment, including Abbott’s Letter, and being misgendered at school, led him to take these actions,” the lawsuit said.

He survived the attempt and was admitted to an outpatient psychiatric facility, where staff learned that he was undergoing hormone therapy. A week after he was discharged, an investigator from DFPS visited the family’s home and, according to the lawsuit, said that the psychiatric facility had reported the family for child abuse. The family remains under investigation.



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