A recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union accuses the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services of launching previously unreported investigations into parents of transgender adolescents for possible child abuse under the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott who ordered the agency to handle certain medical treatments as possible crimes, reports the New York Times. Among the first to be investigated was an employee of the state protective services agency who has a 16-year-old transgender child and was placed on administrative leave last week and visited by an investigator from the agency, which is also seeking medical records related to her child.
According to the lawsuit, the state’s investigator told the parents that the only allegation against them was that their transgender daughter might have been provided with gender-affirming health care and was “currently transitioning from male to female.” The A.C.L.U. of Texas and Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization focusing on the L.G.B.T.Q. community, sought to block the request for medical records in the employee’s case and, more broadly, challenged the legitimacy of the investigation and the power of the governor to change the definition of child abuse and noting that other investigations have also begun. The groups argue in the suit that the directive by the governor was issued improperly under state law, ran afoul of the Texas Constitution and violated the constitutional rights of transgender youth, as well as of their parents.