Texas Supreme Court Declares Child Gender Transitioning is Child Abuse

In February, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) ordered family protection agencies to investigate gender transition procedures for children as child abuse. 

The Texas Supreme Court determined last week these investigations may proceed, but are no longer mandatory. 

Previous Mandate

As reported earlier by The Daily Wire, on February 22, Abbott sent a memo to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

In this memo, he stated, “The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now affirmed in the confined view that a number of so-called ‘sex change’ treatments constitute child abuse under established Texas law.” 

Given the Department of Family and Protective Services is charged with safeguarding children from abuse, the governor’s letter was a mandate for them to probe any cases of these practices documented in Texas. 

Then, Abbott noted that Texas law mandates reporting requirements for professionals such as doctors, teachers, and medics.

Thus, this directive required those workers to report the parents of kids “subjected to these harmful gender-transitioning operations,” as he described it.

Additionally, he stated other state agencies must investigate authorized facilities where similar practices are suspected. 

LGBT advocates (such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and Lambda Legal) filed a suit against Abbott’s directive on behalf of the family of a 16-year-old transgender student. 

Lawsuit And Polls

A district judge subsequently enjoined the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from investigating the parents of the 16-year-old, as well as any other investigations of a similar nature throughout the state.

A Texas court of appeals subsequently confirmed this verdict, but the Texas Supreme Court overturned it last week and reaffirmed DFPS could begin its investigations. 

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services can still investigate these situations, but they are no longer required to do so. 

The state’s highest court said Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton may express their opinions, but the child welfare agency is “not required by law to adhere to them.” 

While the state Supreme Court reversed the lower courts’ judgments that would have halted inquiries throughout the state, they still permit an injunction against probing the family at the center of the dispute. 

This outcome is somewhat mixed for both parties. Paxton claimed his office views this as a victory. LGBT groups have made the same assertion. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, and Lambda Legal issued a joint statement, declaring it a victory for their clients and the rule of law. 

In a recent survey conducted by Summit Ministries and McLaughlin & Associates, 90 percent of respondents agreed minors should be compelled to wait until they reach legal adulthood before undergoing “permanent gender change.” 

Then, voters were asked if “doctors who perform surgeries to change a person’s gender should be required by law to tell patients about the common long-term physical and mental effects of such procedures.”

Again, 90 percent of voters said “yes.”