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Texas to Appeal Court Ban on Probing Transgender Child’s Parents

March 4, 2022, 8:13 PM

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he’ll appeal a court order temporarily blocking the state’s child protective services agency from investigating the parents of a transgender teen for alleged child abuse.

Abbott filed a so-called notice of accelerated appeal of the order on Thursday in Texas state court in Austin. The conservative Republican seeks to enforce his controversial Feb. 22 letter requiring state officials to investigate parents who seek gender-affirming care for their transgender children.

Earlier this week, Judge Amy Clark Meachum of the Texas District Court of Travis County issued a limited temporary restraining order against Abbott and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, stopping them from investigating the family or their licensed psychologist. The judge will weigh a broader temporary injunction at a hearing set for March 11.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal filed the suit on behalf of the family and the psychologist, arguing Abbott’s directive was an illegal attempt to “legislate by press release” after state lawmakers declined to pass a law barring such health care.

Abbott’s directive followed an unprecedented opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that said gender-affirming care, including “sex change” procedures and puberty-blocking drugs, can constitute child abuse when performed on minors.

Read More: Texas Sued for Criminalizing Care for Transgender Children

To contact the reporter on this story:
Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Katia Porzecanski at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net

Steve Stroth

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.