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ACLU of Texas, Human Rights Campaign share trans children testimony at DFPS meeting

Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this year that DFPS should investigative families of transgender children for child abuse.

AUSTIN, Texas — Five advocacy groups, including the ACLU of Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas, testified at a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services meeting Friday.

The two aforementioned organizations. as well as Equality Texas, Human Rights Campaign and the Texas Freedom Network, shared statements from transgender children and their families. This comes in wake of a May 13 Texas Supreme Court ruling that said Gov. Greg Abbott does not have the power to order DFPS investigations of transgender children's families.

"Because of the harm caused to families and children, many of the families affected by these frivolous investigations do not feel safe at the DFPS building," a press release from Equality Texas said. "Yet, it is essential that their stories be told. And they will be heard."

DFPS also heard from Central Texas residents, including a former DFPS investigator.

Morgan Davis said he resigned from his position with the DFPS three weeks ago. His resignation came soon after he was assigned his first case into a family with a trans child undergoing gender-affirming care. He called the family's home "exemplary" and full of love and care.

"I could not investigate families for abuse when no abuse was taking place," Davis told KVUE. "Our services are needed in more critical places."

Davis said 150 DFPS investigators across the state have recently resigned from the department. He believes it is for similar reasons. Davis called this a deeply personal issue for him and said he wants to be the advocate he needed as a child.

"I want to be the adult that says, 'You've done nothing wrong, you are loved, you are seen, and this is a space where you are celebrated,'" said Davis. "These beautiful kids deserve to be beautiful adults. That's it."

Davis shared with his former DFPS council that he believes gender-affirming care is saving lives.

Earlier this year, Abbott issued a directive declaring that parents providing gender-affirming care to their transgender children should be investigated for child abuse. 

The directive came after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed certain medical procedures and treatments such as puberty blockers qualify as child abuse under section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code.

On Friday, an Austin judge temporarily halted the state from investigating parents who provide gender-affirming care to their trans children.


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