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Texas Court Upholds Injunctions Safeguarding Transgender Youth Rights

In a landmark decision today, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, upheld injunctions in two pivotal cases against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and former Commissioner Jaime Masters. The injunctions effectively block the implementation of the agency’s rule, which sought to broaden the definition of child abuse to include the provision of gender-affirming care.

Under the upheld injunctions, DFPS is prohibited from initiating investigations or taking any further actions against families solely based on allegations of providing gender-affirming care to their adolescents. This decision marks a significant victory for the rights and well-being of transgender youth in Texas.

The ruling emerged from two lawsuits, PFLAG v. Abbott and Doe v. Abbott, spearheaded by prominent organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, along with legal support from the law firm of Baker Botts LLP.

Ash Hall, LGBTQIA+ policy and advocacy strategist at the ACLU of Texas, emphasized, “Transgender youth have always existed and always will, and the vast majority of Texans do not support separating them from their families or taking away their life-saving health care.” This sentiment underscores the importance of recognizing and respecting the identities and needs of transgender youth within their families and communities.

Brian K. Bond, CEO of PFLAG National, expressed gratitude for the court’s recognition of the harm caused by investigating parents who support their transgender children. Bond affirmed PFLAG’s commitment to leading with love, and fostering stronger families and communities where LGBTQ+ individuals can thrive.

Paul D. Castillo, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, highlighted the court’s acknowledgment of the irreparable harm caused by unwarranted investigations on families seeking to care for and affirm their transgender children. This recognition reinforces the importance of respecting families’ decisions regarding the healthcare of their children in consultation with medical professionals.

Chase Strangio, deputy director for Transgender Justice at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, condemned the discriminatory actions by Texas officials, emphasizing the necessity of protecting families guided by love and compassion for their transgender youth. Strangio reiterated the significance of the court’s rejection of baseless and invasive investigations, affirming the rights of families to determine the best course of care for their children.

Today’s ruling not only safeguards the rights of transgender youth but also sends a powerful message affirming the value of love, acceptance, and dignity for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity. It represents a crucial step forward in the ongoing fight for equality and justice for the LGBTQ+ community in Texas and beyond.


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