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The shape of Texas with a transgender pride flag heart in the center.

Texas Appeals Court Upholds Rulings Blocking State from Investigating Trans Youth and Their Families

March 29, 2024

Today the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, upheld injunctions in two related cases against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Commissioner Masters, barring them from implementing the agency’s rule expanding the definition of child abuse to presumptively treat the provision of gender-affirming care as child abuse.

The injunctions bar DFPS from implementing the rule by investigating these families based solely on allegations that they are providing gender-affirming care to their adolescents, or taking any action in open investigations other than to close them so long DFPS can do so without making further contact with the families.

Today’s ruling came in two lawsuits, Doe v. Abbott and PFLAG v. Abbott, filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the ACLU of Texas, and the law firm of Baker Botts LLP.

“Texas PFLAG families are grateful that the court has once again recognized the harm caused by investigating parents for affirming and loving their transgender kids,” said Brian K. Bond (he/him), CEO of PFLAG National. “PFLAG National and our members and supporters will continue leading with love, just as we’ve done for the last 51 years, because when courageous love takes action, our families are stronger, our communities are safer, and our LGBTQ+ loved ones across races, places, and genders thrive.”

“We are gratified that the Court upheld the district court’s injunctions protecting families of transgender young people across the state from unlawful investigations under the DFPS rule,” said Paul D. Castillo, Senior Counsel, Lambda Legal. “The Court recognized yet again that being subjected to an unlawful and unwarranted investigation causes irreparable harm for these families who are doing nothing more than caring for and affirming their children and seeking the best course of care for them in consultation with their medical providers.”

“Transgender youth have always existed and always will, and the vast majority of Texans do not support separating them from their families or taking away their life-saving health care,” said Ash Hall (they/them), LGBTQIA+ Policy and Advocacy Strategist with the ACLU of Texas. “The maneuvers by Texas state officials against transgender youth are bullying masquerading as policy. Nothing could be further from abuse than parents loving and supporting their transgender children. This decision is another much-needed victory for trans youth and those who love and support them.”

“We are grateful the court saw through this dangerous and transparently discriminatory action by Texas officials,” said Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “Our clients and countless families like theirs are guided by love and compassion for their transgender youth, following the guidance of their doctors and fighting for the futures their family deserves. These baseless and invasive investigations are a dangerous abuse of the state’s power and one we’re thankful the Texas courts have consistently ruled against.”

Read today’s decisions here: Doe v. Abbott and PFLAG v. Abbott.

Read more about the two lawsuits here: PFLAG v. Abbott and Doe v. Abbott

Read more about PFLAG and its support of transgender youth and Texas families.


About PFLAG

PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved. Learn more, find support, donate, and take action at PFLAG.org.

Media Contact

Laura McGinnis (she/her),
Sr. Manager, Press and Public Relations

[email protected]  |  (202) 864-2247

Pieces of Me film poster, with photos of Joslyn DeFreece from current and growing up.

New Short Film "Pieces of Me"

Our newest film "Pieces of Me" is out now in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility!
Written, directed, and produced by Nick Oceano-Armendariz—the film centers on the life of New York-based artist and transgender activist Joslyn DeFreece.

Watch the film

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