Texas justice reauthorizes investigations into parents of transgender minors

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday again authorized investigations into parents of transgender children by authorities in the conservative southern state, overturning a court decision that had suspended those proceedings. The court in March ended enforcement of a controversial directive from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that equated certain “gender reassignment” procedures for minors to criminally punishable “abuse.”

The appeals court “abused its discretion” in issuing a statewide order, the high court said in its decision, seen by AFP.

On the other hand, the authorities cannot resume the investigation targeting the parents of a transgender teenager who had brought the case to justice, ruled the court, estimating that this investigation would cause them “irreparable harm”.

“Today’s decision is a victory for our clients and the rule of law,” said human rights organization ACLU, hailing a “partial” victory in a tweet.

“While this decision is limited to current plaintiffs, it is clear that the application of this decision causes suffering to young people and their families,” she added.

“These cruel attacks on transgender youth must stop,” the organization also said.

As a result of this directive from Governor Abbott, the mother of a teenage transgender girl was suspended by her employer — Texas Family Services — and was visited by an inspector who was investigating whether her 16-year-old daughter “was not transitioning from male to female,” according to the complaint filed by the family.

The case had taken on a national dimension, to the point that US President Joe Biden had denounced in this directive a “cynical and dangerous campaign which targets transgender children and their parents”.

The care to be given to transgender minors, just like their participation in sports competitions or the use of the toilets of the sex in which they identify, are the subject of lively debates in the United States where many conservative states have adopted these recent years of restrictive regulations.

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