Texas judge temporarily halts more transgender child abuse investigations


A Texas judge on Friday temporarily halted the state’s child abuse investigations into two families with transgender children, agreeing they faced immediate harm.

Travis County District Court Judge Jan Soifer granted the families’ requests for a two-week temporary restraining order after a virtual court hearing that lasted less than an hour. In a more wide-reaching step, she also extended the order to all members of the nonprofit advocacy group for LGBTQ people and their allies known as PFLAG.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Soifer’s order read, is restrained from investigating or taken any action against plaintiffs families and PFLAG members “for possible child abuse based solely on allegations they have a minor child who is transgender, gender nonconforming, gender transitioning, or receiving or being prescribed gender-affirming medical treatment.”

The judge added that unless she took this step, the families could suffer gross invasions of privacy, fear, trauma, depression, self-harm or suicide. She set a hearing for June 21, in which she may decide on the plaintiffs request for a temporary injunction, which would be more long lasting.

Friday’s decision marks another temporary, albeit meaningful, win for transgender Texans since the state began to investigate gender-affirming care for minors as abuse earlier this year. A fourth investigation into a family with a trans teen, being litigated in a separate case, was put on hold by another judge last month and doctors at a hospital in Dallas recently won the ability to restart some treatments for new trans youth seeking gender-affirming medical care after major changes to their program in November.


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