The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that child abuse investigations into parents who allow their children to undergo transgender procedures can move forward, reversing an earlier court injunction blocking the law.


But the court also kept in place an injunction that applies to the family that brought the initial lawsuit against the February directive issued by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and questioned Abbott's authority on the matter, leading both sides of the dispute to claim victory.

Lambda Legal, an organization that offers legal representation to LGBT people, called the mixed ruling a win for the family, who was represented in court by the group.

“Though the court limited its order to the Doe family … it reaffirmed that Texas law has not changed and no mandatory reporter or DFPS employee is required to take any action based on the governor’s directive and attorney general opinion,” Lambda Legal said in a joint statement with the American Civil Liberties Union. “By upholding the injunction, the court credited the finding that investigations based solely on the provision of medically necessary gender affirming care cause irreparable harm.”

The lawsuit came from a Texas mother who worked in the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services, which was directed to investigate parents administering gender transition procedures, such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers, for child abuse. The mother, who was allowing her 16-year-old transgender daughter to go through a transition, said the state had already initiated an investigation into her family.

The injunction that Texas Supreme Court justices struck down on Friday was issued after the lower court determined that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott overstepped his authority when he directed the department to launch the child abuse investigations.

Abbott’s directive issued in February came after an earlier nonbinding legal opinion by the state’s Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said that administering transition procedures to children constituted abuse.


The mixed decision on Friday will offer little solace for other families whose children are undergoing treatment for gender dysphoria, that is, emotional distress due to a disconnect between gender identity and biological sex. Texas is not the only state to embrace legislation that targets transgender children. For example, an Alabama law prohibiting the provision of puberty blockers, gender reassignment surgery, and hormones to children identifying as transgender took effect on Sunday. Providing such care is now considered a Class C felony in the state and can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.