Judge blocks Texas from investigating families of transgender children for child abuse

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A Texas judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking the state from probing families of transgender children who have received gender-affirming treatment that the state has categorized as child abuse.Judge Jan Soifer’s ruling stops investigations against three families who filed lawsuits, and prohibits similar investigations against members of the LGBTQ+ advocacy group PFLAG Inc.JUDGE SAYS NEW YORK’S LEGAL BATTLE AGAINST NRA CAN CONTINUE
A transgender advocate holds up a flag at City Hall in New York City, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo)”I do find that there is sufficient reason to believe that the plaintiffs will suffer immediate and irreparable injury if the commissioner and the [Department of Family and Protective Services] are allowed to continue to implement and enforce this new Department rule that equates gender-affirming care with child abuse,” Soifer said at the conclusion of a hearing.Soifer’s decision comes after the Texas Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling last month, allowing the state to investigate parents of transgender youth for child abuse while also ruling in favor of one family that was contacted by child welfare officials following Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s February order.Abbott had ordered state child welfare officials to investigate reports of transgender children receiving gender-affirming treatment.HOUSTON TEXANS, OTHERS TO BE NAMED IN DESHAUN WATSON LAWSUITS AFTER BOMBSHELL REPORT, ATTORNEY SAYS
Protestors in support of transgender rights rally outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
(Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)Friday’s ruling was in response to a challenge from Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the families of three teenagers and PFLAG. Two of the teenagers were 16 and one was 14.A Lambda Legal attorney told the judge that the 14-year-old’s family had found out after the lawsuit was filed that the state’s investigation into them had been dropped.The families had said in court filings that the investigations had prompted anxiety for them and their children. The mother of one of the teenagers said her child attempted suicide and was hospitalized the day Abbott issued his order. The outpatient psychiatric facility the child was referred to reported the family for child abuse upon discovering hormone therapy had been prescribed, the mother said in a court filing.MASSACHUSETTS PROFESSOR INDICTED IN ALLEGED DRUNK DRIVING DEATH OF BOSTON COP BOYFRIEND
Demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender-related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and Texas House, May 20, 2021, in Austin, Texas. 
((AP Photo/Eric Gay, File))In March, a district judge issued a temporary restraining order following a lawsuit on behalf of a 16-year-old whose family claimed to be under investigation. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in May that the lower court overstepped its authority by blocking all investigations going forward.The Texas Department of Family and Protective Service has said it opened nine investigations after Abbott’s order and an earlier nonbinding legal opinion by Attorney General Ken Paxton labeling certain gender-confirming medical treatments as child abuse.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mojtaba Sadira

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