A Texas law barring gender-transition drugs and surgeries for children is slated to take effect next week despite a state judge’s order blocking the measure from being enforced.
Travis County Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel granted the temporary injunction requested by families of transgender youth in a Friday ruling, saying that Senate Bill 14 “interferes with Texas families’ private decisions,” but the impact was short-lived.
The Office of the Attorney General immediately filed a notice of accelerated appeal, which pauses the injunction pending a decision by the Texas Supreme Court. The law is now scheduled to take effect Sept. 1.
“The OAG will continue to enforce the laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature and uphold the values of the people of Texas by doing everything in its power to protect children from damaging ‘gender transition’ interventions,” said the office in a Friday statement.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 14 into law on June 2, making Texas one of 22 states to ban or restrict gender-transition procedures for minors.
A complaint challenging the law was filed a month later by five families with minor children who identify as the opposite sex; three medical providers, and two LGBTQ organizations.
“A Texas district court just ruled that trans youth — like all Texans — have the right to get the life-saving medical care they need,” said the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas in a Friday tweet. “No one should have to go to court to defend their right to exist. We won’t stop until this cruel ban is permanently struck down.”
On the other side was Jonathan Covey, Texas Values director of policy, who cheered the Texas attorney general’s office for fighting the ruling.
“Butchers for hire are tearing kids apart and they must be stopped,” Mr. Covey said. “We applaud the Texas Attorney General’s office for their life-saving legal work and we’re certain this temporary ruling will be reversed.”
He said a court hearing on the case’s merits has been scheduled for May 6, 2024.
Nope. Decision already appealed and this false trial court ruling now has been stopped. SB 14 child protection law to prevent kid body mutilation and healthy body parts being removed will go into effect on September 1 as planned. #txlege @DonnaCampbellTX @TomOliverson https://t.co/cAmZlqBTQI
— Jonathan Saenz (@jonathansaenzTX) August 25, 2023
The attorney general’s office said that the law “prohibits hospitals from administering experimental hormones or conducting mutilative ‘gender transition’ surgical procedures on minors.”
“These unproven medical interventions are emphatically pushed by some activists in the medical and psychiatric professions despite the lack of evidence demonstrating medical benefit, and even while growing evidence indicates harmful effects on children’s mental and physical welfare,” the office said.
Nathan Noe, the pseudonym for one of the teen plaintiffs, said that the “idea of growing up as a woman felt so indescribably and inexplicably wrong, and I couldn’t picture myself as a young teenage girl,” but taking testosterone has “tremendously improved all aspects of my life.”
“I love Texas. This is my community. This is where my family lives,” said the teen in a statement on the ACLU of Texas website. “This is the place I grew up and I do not want to leave it because my government has decided to attack people like me.”