Despite a Travis County district judge ruling in favor of the ACLU of Texas’ lawsuit against a Texas law banning child gender mutilation, the measure is set to go into effect at the beginning of next month while the state appeals to the Texas Supreme Court.

On Friday, District Judge Maria Cantù Hexsel of the 53rd District Court of Travis County granted a preliminary injunction, which would temporarily allow children to continue to access gender-mutilative surgeries and cross-sex hormones.

Hexsel claimed that families with gender-confused children will suffer irreparable harm due to the new law set to take effect September 1. She stated that the law would cause imminent injury to adolescents due to the loss of “access to safe, effective, and medically necessary treatment.” Additionally, she adds that the new measure would significantly and severely compromise the “health and well-being of transgender adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria, including forcing such patients to experience unwanted and unbearable changes to their body.”

The state has maintained that allowing children to access these life-altering drugs and procedures harms their well-being, as their brains are not fully developed to weigh the risks.

The law being challenged is Senate Bill 14 by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R–New Braunfels). The measure protects children from being chemically castrated by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and from receiving mutilative surgeries.

After Hexsel issued the ruling, the ACLU praised the decision, saying that gender-confused children shouldn’t have to go to court to defend their “basic rights.”

“The court decision is a critical victory for transgender youth and their families, supporters, and health providers against this blatantly unconstitutional law,” said Brian Klosterboer, attorney at the ACLU of Texas.

Hours after the decision was released, the Office of the Attorney General appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, a move that automatically freezes the lower court’s injunction.

“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 wrote in a press release.

“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,” they added.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.