Several Texas prosecutors have said they will refuse to follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s demand they investigate parents of trans children.
Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said in a statement he would not abide Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s direction to the Department of Family and Protection Services to investigate parents for child abuse if they let their trans children access gender-affirmative medical care.
“Governor Abbott and General Paxton are ignoring medical professionals and intentionally misrepresenting the law to the detriment of transgender children and their families,” Menefee said in a statement. “My office will not participate in these bad faith political games. As the lawyers handling these cases, we owe a duty of candor to the courts about what the law really says. We’ll continue to follow the laws on the books — not General Paxton’s politically motivated and legally incorrect ‘opinion.’”
The defiance comes after Abbott demanded the state DFPS investigate “so-called ‘sex change’ procedures” and claimed Texas law counts gender corrective surgery as “child abuse.”
Still, Abbott said he considers this to be existing law.
“Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur,” Abbott wrote.
Additionally, Travis County Attorney Delia Garza told The Dallas Morning News she would ignore the directive.
“The Republican leadership of this state is trying to turn loving and supportive parents into criminals, and this office will play no part in it,” Garza said.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza also told the Morning News his office will ignore Paxton’s guidance on the issue.
Harris and Travis counties collectively serve as home to about 5 million of Texas's 29 million residents, according to the U.S. Census.