A district judge in Texas moved on Friday to temporarily block enforcement of a law banning transgender minors in the state from receiving gender transition care, including puberty blockers and hormone treatments.
But almost immediately after the judge entered that ruling, the state attorney general’s office announced that it had appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, a step that would prevent the lower court’s injunction from taking effect, at least for now.
The legislation, known as Senate Bill 14, is set to go into effect next week, and was among the most volatile measures of the Texas legislative session, drawing protests from transgender Texans and their supporters.
In a ruling on Friday, Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel of the State District Court in Travis County said plaintiffs who challenged the new law on state constitutional grounds had shown they would be likely to succeed at trial.
“The Act’s prohibitions on providing evidence-based treatment for adolescents with gender dysphoria stands directly at odds with parents’ fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care of their children,” the judge wrote.
But the attorney general’s office defended the law when it appealed to the State Supreme Court.
In a statement, officials in that office said they “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.”
The lawsuit in Texas is one of several that transgender rights supporters have filed in state and federal courts. Though opponents of the laws have succeeded in blocking enforcement of some bans, judges have recently allowed restrictions to remain in place in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee.
Even before the Texas legislation passed, officials in that state had taken steps to try to prevent transgender children from accessing medical transition care. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, directed the state’s child protective agency to investigate parents for child abuse if their children received such treatment.