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District Judge Amy Clark Meachum, Austin Texas LGBTQ child abuse

District Judge Amy Clark Meachum, Austin Texas LGBTQ child abuse
The Texas State Capitol is in Austin. Demonstrators fly an LGBTQ flag in front of the Capitol.

Child service investigations of parents of trans kids in Texas have been blocked by a judge there.

A Texas judge ruled on Friday that the state can't treat care for transgender kids as child abuse.

District Judge Amy Clark Meachum put a temporary stop to the state from following Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's order to make the Department of Family and Protective Services investigate.

Injunction: Meachum's earlier order blocking the state's investigation of the parents of one transgender teen's parents has been expanded by this injunction. Those two groups sued on behalf of the parents of the 16-year-old girl's parents because they were unhappy with the investigation and Abbott's order. Meachum set a trial date for July 11 for the case against Abbott's directive.

Meachum said that by issuing the directive without a new law or rule, the governor and other officials broke the law by "impermissibly encroaching into the legislative domain."

When the lawsuit was filed, it was the first time that parents were being investigated because of Abbott's order and a nonbinding legal opinion by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton that called certain gender-confirming treatments "child abuse." Following the directive and the opinion, DFPS said it had opened nine investigations, which it did.

There is a clinical psychologist who says the governor's order forces her to choose between reporting clients to the state or losing her license and other penalties. The groups also represent this person.

Amy Clark Meachum, a judge in Texas, said that Gov. Greg Abbott's order for authorities to look into parents of transgender children violates "separation of powers."
Amy Clark Meachum, a judge in Texas, said that Gov. Greg Abbott's order for authorities to look into parents of transgender children violates "separation of powers."

The governor's order and Paxton's opinion go against the country's largest medical groups, like the American Medical Association, which have opposed Republican-backed restrictions on transgender people that have been passed in statehouses across the country.

Arkansas was the first state to pass a law against gender-confirming treatments for minors last year, and Tennessee has passed a law that does the same thing. A judge has blocked Arkansas' law, and the state has appealed.

A lawyer for the parents said that Abbott's directive "stigmatizes" and "invades the privacy" of the families. It also "interferes with parents' fundamental right to make the decision about what's best for their child," Paul Castillo told Meachum, ending a long hearing.

Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, caused a stir by saying that treating people who want to change their gender was "child abuse."
Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, caused a stir by saying that treating people who want to change their gender was "child abuse."

Apple, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Meta, and Microsoft took out a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News criticizing the Texas law. Meachum's decision came the same day.

Attempts by the state of Texas to make it illegal for a parent to help their transgender child get medically necessary, age-appropriate health care go against the values of our businesses, the ad read.

Meachum made her decision after hearing a lot of evidence in the parents' lawsuit against Abbott's order.

Testimony: A supervisor for child protective services said Friday that she left the department because of her concerns about the directive. She also said that cases involving gender-confirming care were being treated differently from other cases.

As part of the lawsuit, Megan Mooney, a clinical psychologist who is also a member of a group representing the groups, said the governor's directive has caused "outright panic" among mental health professionals and the families of transgender young people.

"Parents are afraid that (child protective services) will come and question their children, or take them away," Mooney told the court. They're afraid that they're either breaking their own standards and professional codes of conduct, or they're breaking the law.

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