Families with transgender children in Texas won a reprieve on Friday, March 11, after a court temporarily blocked a statewide directive issued by Gov. Greg Abbott that redefined gender affirming care as presumed child abuse.
The action came in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and Lambda Legal on behalf of an anonymous family with a 16-year-old transgender teen, who’d found themselves under investigation by the state. The child’s mother, referred to in court filings as Jane Doe, was an employee of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and had expressed concern about the Feb. 22 directive. The agency then put Doe on leave and opened an abuse investigation into her family. Another plaintiff is Dr. Megan Mooney, a Houston psychologist who feared the directive could force “mandated reporters” such as herself to turn in clients simply for offering their trans kids appropriate care. Brian Klosterboer, an ACLU of Texas attorney who represents Mooney and the Doe family, said the state was moving against trans kids with alarming speed. “It’s really scary that they’ve weaponized the Department of Family and Protective Services to play politics with the very lives of transgender young people and to terrorize families in this state,” Klosterboer told the Chronicle before the hearing.