AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is appealing a judge’s ruling that prevents the state from investigating a transgender teenager’s parents over gender confirming care she received.
Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the appeal Wednesday of the temporary order halting the investigation by the Department of Family and Protective Services into the parents of the 16-year-old girl.
The parents sued over the investigation and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s order last week that officials look into reports of such treatments as abuse. The lawsuit marked the first report of parents being investigated following Abbott’s directive and an earlier nonbinding legal opinion by Paxton labeling certain gender-confirmation treatments as “child abuse.”
The appeal stays a hearing District Judge Amy Clark Meachum had scheduled for March 11 on whether to issue a broader temporary order blocking enforcement of Abbott’s directive.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal. The groups also represent a clinical psychologist who has said the governor’s directive is forcing her to choose between reporting clients to the state or losing her license and other penalties.
Chase Strangio, deputy director for trans justice with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project, said officials were “doubling down on their cruelty” with the appeal.
“Our clients and now families across the state are being targeted for the first time for simply continuing to provide the same medically necessary care to their children, as they have for years,” Strangio said in a statement.
The governor’s directive and Paxton’s opinion go against the nation’s largest medical groups, including the American Medical Association, which have opposed Republican-backed restrictions on transgender people filed in statehouses nationwide.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday night condemned Abbott’s directive and announced steps his administration was taking to protect transgender youth and their families in the state.
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