Houston, Texas — Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee—whose office represents the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) in civil child abuse cases in Harris County—filed an amicus brief in support of several parents of transgender adolescents who sued DFPS after it began investigating them based on allegations that the adolescents were prescribed medical care for their diagnosed gender dysphoria. County Attorney Menefee joined more than 100 current and former US Department of Justice officials, Attorneys General, federal and state judges, and law enforcement leaders in filing the brief in PFLAG v. Greg Abbott, in the Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas at Austin.
“Parents in Texas should not have to live in constant fear that the state will break up their family because of healthcare decisions they made in consultation with their doctor,” said County Attorney Menefee. “Governor Abbott is weaponizing child protective services against these families and putting LGBTQ+ youth at risk to score political points. It’s wrong, and I will remain committed to protecting all Texas families and allowing them to make their own medical decisions.”
The brief aims to block DFPS from following Governor Abbott’s directive to investigate and potentially criminalize parents who seek gender-affirming care for their transgender children. Governor Abbott issued this directive after the Texas Attorney General opined that under current Texas law, parents may be committing child abuse if they permit their children to obtain gender-affirming care (including hormone therapy, puberty blockers, etc.). The Texas Legislature is currently considering several bills (e.g., Senate Bill 14) that would prohibit providing certain gender-affirming care to youth.