ACLU Suit Leads Texas Court to Partially Block Governor’s Anti-Trans Directive


By Delilah Hammons and Catherine Potente

AUSTIN, TX –A temporary restraining order that prevents the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from investigating plaintiffs in a lawsuit was granted by the Travis County District Court Wednesday.

The lawsuit came from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU of Texas), the ACLU, and Lambda Legal. Any investigation done by the DFPS of the parents named in the lawsuit will cease with this temporary restraining order.

The court scheduled a hearing on March 11 to rule if the restraining order should block the DFPS, commissioner, and the governor.

According to the ACLU, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a directive prior to the lawsuit that stated “providing gender-affirming care is a form of child abuse.”

Following the governor’s directive, the DFPS declared it would follow the directive.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an employee who works at the DFPS, who has a transgender child and a transgender teen. An investigator has already appeared at the residence of the family, so the family decided to file the lawsuit anonymously.

Abbott, DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters, and DFPS are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

After the court’s decision, three statements were issued from ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal, and ACLU reflecting on the outcome.

ACLU of Texas attorney, Brian Klosterboer said, “We appreciate the relief granted to our clients, but this should never have happened and is unfathomably cruel. Families should not have to fear being separated because they are providing the best possible health care for their children.”

He added, “The elected leaders and agencies of this state should not play politics with people’s lives. We will do all that’s possible to stop these abuses of power and ensure transgender young people can receive medically recommended treatment.”

“We are relieved that — at least for now — the threat of a child abuse investigation is no longer hanging over the heads of the family members in this case. It is unconscionable for DFPS to still pursue any investigation or inflict more trauma and harm. We look forward to continuing the fight for all Texas families,” stated Paul Castillo, from Lambda Legal senior counsel.

Chase Strangio, from ACLU is a deputy director for trans justice from the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, said, “This is a critical victory and an important first step in stopping these egregious and illegal actions from Texas officials.”

Strangio added, “We are relieved for our plaintiffs and ready to keep fighting to stop the governor, commissioner, and DFPS from inflicting further harm on trans people and their families and communities across Texas. Transgender youth in Texas should be able to access lifesaving, medically necessary care with the support of their families and doctors. Attempts to cut off transgender adolescents from care will not make them any less trans but it will make them less likely to grow up at all.”


About The Author

Delilah Hammons attends Sacramento City College and plans on transferring to a UC in two years to major in English. She wants to purse a career as a writer after graduating with the hope of publishing her own books.

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