On Friday, a Texas judge issued a third temporary injunction barring the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (“DFPS”) from implementing a new rule expanding child abuse to encompass the provision of gender-affirming care to transgender adolescents. This ruling is the latest victory among the multiple lawsuits and appeals that Baker Botts L.L.P., Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and the ACLU of Texas are litigating to block Governor Abbott’s directive that DFPS investigate the families of trans youth.
The court’s latest order in PFLAG v. Abbott extends injunctive relief to all Texas families who are members of PFLAG National, a national LGBTQ+ organization with 17 chapters in Texas, and to the Briggle family. The court had previously issued an injunction with respect to the two other plaintiffs in this lawsuit in July. These injunctions became necessary to protect Texas families after the statewide injunction issued against DFPS in an earlier lawsuit, Doe v. Abbott, was stayed pending the State’s appeal. Friday’s injunction comes after the plaintiffs notified the court last week that DFPS was continuing intrusive investigations against PFLAG members, including by pulling a student out of class and questioning him at school about his medical history.
“Today, families of transgender kids in Texas who are members of PFLAG National find shelter from Governor Abbott's unjust order,” said Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National. “PFLAG, our chapters in Texas and around the country are sources of support and safety from government harm because every LGBTQ+ person deserves respect, dignity and the right to access the care they need when they need it.”
The Baker Botts team representing plaintiffs in PFLAG v. Abbott is led by partner Derek McDonald and senior associates Maddy Dwertman and Brandt Thomas Roessler. The team also includes, among others, partner Susan Kennedy and associates Nish Bhan, Nick Palmieri, John Ormiston, and Parul Aggarwal. “The injunction protecting PFLAG families in Texas was the culmination of tireless work by our Baker Botts team members and by our colleagues at Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and the ACLU of Texas,” said Brandt Thomas Roessler. “We are committed to continuing this work until Governor Abbott’s directive is declared invalid and DFPS’s investigations into the families of trans youth are permanently enjoined.”
More information regarding the PFLAG v. Abbott lawsuit can be found in Lambda Legal’s press release and the ACLU’s press release.
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