ACLU, Lambda Legal sue Texas over anti-trans ‘child abuse’ policy

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(Image by succo from Pixabay)

Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and ACLU of Texas on Tuesday asked a Texas state court to block the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from investigating parents who get medical care for their transgender children.

In a press release from Lambda Legal, the lawsuit names Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters and the DFPS as defendants. It claims the recent policy was issued without proper authority, in violation of the Texas Administrative Procedures Act, the separation of powers requirements  of the Texas Constitution,  and the constitutional rights of transgender youth and their parents.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an employee of DFPS with a transgender child, her husband, and the teen herself. According to the complaint, this family has had an investigator already arrive at their house. Dr. Megan Mooney, a licensed psychologist who is considered a mandatory reporter under Texas law and cannot comply with the governor’s directive without harming her clients and violating her ethical obligations, is also a plaintiff in the suit.

“For Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton, it seems the cruelty is the point,” said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Paul Castillo. “They are joining a politically motivated misinformation campaign with no consideration of medical science and seem determined to criminalize parents seeking to care and provide for their kids, and medical professionals abiding by accepted standards of care for transgender youth.”

“No family should have to fear being torn apart because they are supporting their trans child,” said Adri Pérez, policy and advocacy strategist at the ACLU of Texas. “A week before an election, Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a partisan political attack that isn’t rooted in the needs of families, the evidence from doctors and the expertise from child welfare professionals. Families with trans kids in Texas have been under attack for too long.”

Read the complaint here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/doe_20220301_petition

A coalition of medical associations has already denounced the policy. In a statement, the organizations said the policy threatened the health and safety of trans and gender-diverse people. Signing on to the statement were the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and American Psychiatric Association.

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