Journal De Bruxelles - Texas court temporarily halts investigation of transgender minor

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Texas court temporarily halts investigation of transgender minor
Texas court temporarily halts investigation of transgender minor

Texas court temporarily halts investigation of transgender minor

A court in Texas ordered the suspension Wednesday of a probe into the parents of a transgender 16-year-old girl under a legal opinion that deemed transitioning procedures as tantamount to child abuse.

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Last week, Governor Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate instances of minors receiving "sex change procedures," which he argued "constitute child abuse under existing Texas law."

In his order, he cited such gender transitioning procedures as "reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs."

Such care to transgender minors, much like participation by transgender athletes in sports competitions, is the subject of extensive debate in the United States, where many conservative states have moved to adopt restrictive regulations.

Shortly after Abbott's directive, the mother in Wednesday's court case was suspended by her employer, the DFPS, and visited by a state investigator who sought to learn whether her child was "currently transitioning from male to female," court documents said.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ rights organization, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the mother. On Wednesday a district court judge in Texas issued a restraining order preventing the state from investigating the parents.

According to a press release from those two organizations, the court's ruling stops the state from acting until at least March 11, when the court will hear arguments seeking a larger block of the governor's order.

"We appreciate the relief granted to our clients, but this should never have happened and is unfathomably cruel," said Brian Klosterboer, an attorney with ACLU's Texas branch, in a statement.

"Families should not have to fear being separated because they are providing the best possible health care for their children."

US President Joe Biden, while not addressing the specific lawsuit, issued a statement Wednesday evening condemning Texas's Republican governor for a "cynical and dangerous campaign targeting transgender children and their parents."

Biden called the move by Abbott, who is in the middle of a reelection campaign, "government overreach at its worst."

"Like so many anti-transgender attacks proliferating in states across the country, the Governor’s actions callously threaten to harm children and their families just to score political points."