The temporary restraining order from Judge Jan Soifer stops state investigations of three families who sued over Gov. Greg Abbott's February order directing Texas child-welfare officials to probe families of transgender kids, according to NPR. What's more, the order halts investigations against members of a key LGBTQ+ advocacy group representing families with trans children.
"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, according to NPR.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Travis County district court, the three families said Abbott's order forced them to live in fear that they would be stripped of their children for obtaining medically necessary health care. One family said their 16-year-old son attempted suicide after the Republican governor issued his directive.
Last month, the Texas Supreme Court stopped the state's investigation of a family that filed an earlier suit to overturn Abbott's order. However, the court cleared the state to continue investigations into others. That family's legal fight is ongoing.
As Abbott seeks a third term in November, he has targeted transgender children and families to appeal to the most extreme wing of the GOP base. In March, the governor's top election strategist, Dave Carney, bragged to reporters that investigating families of trans kids is a "winning issue."
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