Texas appeals court rules against probes of parents with kids under gender-affirming care

March 30, 2024

An appeals court in Texas upheld a lower court’s injunction blocking the state from investigating parents who allow their kids to receive gender-affirming care.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered state agencies in 2022 to open probes into the parents of transgender minors after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) issued an opinion claiming certain types of gender-affirming medical care, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy, classify as child abuse.

After Abbott’s order, a district court judge imposed a statewide temporary injunction on the investigations, saying they endangered the children and their families.

An appeals court in Austin, Texas, upheld the injunction, delivering victories to LGTBQ groups and medical professionals who pushed back on the order. The decision was first reported Friday by Reuters.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) celebrated the decision, calling it “great news for trans youth and their families in Texas.”

The ACLU challenged Abbott’s order on behalf of a 16-year-old in Texas who was targeted for an investigation after taking puberty-delaying medications and hormone therapy. Her mother worked for the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services and was put on leave after asking what Abbott’s decision would mean for her family, Reuters reported.

“We are gratified that the court upheld the district court’s injunctions protecting families of transgender young people across the state from unlawful investigations under the DFPS rule,” Paul D. Castillo, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, the organization partnering with the ACLU on the case, said in a statement.

Many other states currently have laws that ban transgender youth from receiving certain gender-affirming care and are dealing with ongoing court challenges to the policies.