Texas Judge Hears Case on State's Gender Care Investigations

Associated Press

Friday March 11, 2022

A Texas judge is hearing a case Friday on whether to prevent state officials from investigating reports of transgender youth receiving gender confirming care as child abuse.

District Judge Amy Clark Meachum will hear from attorneys for the state and the parents of a 16-year-old girl who were being investigated by the Department of Family and Protective Services over such care.

Meachum last week blocked the investigation and is considering whether to block similar investigations of other families. The parents sued over the investigation and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's directive that DFPS investigate reports of transgender youth receiving gender confirming care as child abuse.

The lawsuit marked the first report of parents being investigated following Abbott's directive and an earlier nonbinding legal opinion by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton labeling certain gender-confirming treatments as "child abuse." DFPS said it has opened nine investigations since Abbott's directive and Paxton's opinion.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal sued on behalf of the parents.

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.

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.

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