Texas Supreme Court rules that investigations into families with transgender kids can continue

Even so, the court said Texas' child welfare agency is "not compelled by law" to follow orders from Gov. Greg Abbott.

click to enlarge LGBTQ+ advocates speak out against bills targeting transgender children at a rally last spring at the Texas Capitol. - FACEBOOK / EQUALITY TEXAS
Facebook / Equality Texas
LGBTQ+ advocates speak out against bills targeting transgender children at a rally last spring at the Texas Capitol.
In a blow to families with transgender youth, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday that lets the state's child welfare agency resume investigations of parents who provide gender-affirming care for their children.

The unanimous ruling by the state's all-Republican high court overturns a lower court's March 11 injunction barring the agency from following Gov. Greg Abbott's February directive ordering officials to probe families that provide such care as potential perpetrators of child abuse.

However, under the ruling, Texas child welfare officials remain barred from investigating the family of a transgender teen that sued the state in March to challenge Abbott's order. The Texas Supreme Court ruling said the merits of the plaintiffs' suit will be determined in district court and "irreparable harm" could come to the family if its specific investigation isn't halted until the case is resolved.

Further, the court said that the agency is "not compelled by law" to follow orders from  Abbott or Attorney General Ken Paxton, who issued a non-binding order on which the governor based his directive.

Both Abbott and Paxton have seized on punitive measures against transgender Texans as they seek reelection this fall. In March, the governor's top election strategist, Dave Carney, bragged to reporters  that investigating the families of trans kids is a "winning issue."

Meanwhile, families with transgender children are moving out of state or planning relocations, and Texas child welfare workers are resigning over the requirement that they carry out investigations.

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