Parents of trans teen sue Texas to stop investigation

March 1, 2022

The parents of a transgender teen in Texas have filed a lawsuit to prevent government agencies from investigating reports of child gender transition proceedings as cases of possible child abuse.

The parents, identified as John and Jane Doe, and their child, identified as Mary Doe, say in the complaint that a state child protection investigator came to their home on Feb. 25 and requested permission to access Mary’s medical records. The family said they refused.

The researcher said there was only one allegation against the parents, that their trans daughter may have received gender-affirming health care and was transitioning from male to female, the complaint said.

“We are terrified for Mary’s health and well-being, and for our family. I feel betrayed by the state and the agency I work for,” Mary Doe said in the indictment. She is an employee of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services and is now on paid leave.

“Their actions (by the defendants) instilled terror and fear among transgender youth and their families in the Lone Star State and deported transgender youth and their families for discrimination and harassment,” the indictment said.

Does’s complaint, filed in the Travis County District Court in Austin, is seeking a court order to prevent government agencies from acting under Governor Greg Abbott’s orders to investigate reports of the “gender confirmation” proceedings. The Does say Abbott’s order violates the state constitution and the rights of transgender youth.

Megan Mooney, a Houston psychologist who works with transgender people, is also a prosecutor. Abbott, Texas DFPS Commissioner Jamie Allen, and the department itself are defendants. The state government did not respond to The New York Times for a story about the lawsuit.

Last week, Abbott sent a letter to the DFPS ordering “a prompt and thorough investigation into reported cases of these abuse proceedings in the state of Texas.” The letter stated that banned treatments for “sex reassignment” included reassignment surgery, removal of body parts and the administration of anti-pubertal drugs or supraphysiological doses of testosterone or estrogen. Supraphysiological means greater than appears natural.

Abbott said he was acting in response to the recent opinion of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that “a number of so-called ‘gender reassignment’ lawsuits constitute child abuse under existing Texas law.” Under the Abbott order, people with a legal obligation to report child abuse could face prosecution, including doctors, nurses and teachers.

The Times noted that Paxton’s opinion and Abbott’s injunction came just before the Texas primaries on March 1, and that every politician faces competition from far-right opponents. The Times said the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Lambda Legal have filed the lawsuit for the family.

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