After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a ban on child gender mutilation procedures into law last month, the legislation is now facing a lawsuit.

Five families with gender-confused children, three medical professionals, and two LGBT organizations filed a lawsuit challenging State Sen. Donna Campbell’s (R–New Braunfels) Senate Bill 14, which protects children from being chemically castrated by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and from receiving mutilative surgeries to “transition” them.

The bill also prohibits public money being indirectly or directly granted, paid, or distributed to any healthcare provider, medical school, or hospital that performs gender mutilation surgeries or provides hormone blockers to minors.

Although the measure initially faced challenges in the Texas House, the Legislature eventually passed the bill and sent SB 14 to Abbott’s desk.

Shortly after lawmakers approved the legislation, the ACLU of Texas, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the Transgender Law Center released a statement claiming that the measure would ban “transgender youth from accessing medically necessary health care” and saying they would sue to block the legislation.

Despite this pushback, Abbott signed SB 14 into law last month.

Now, PFLAG, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality, and several individuals have filed a lawsuit calling for the court to declare SB 14 unconstitutional.

The lawsuit defends prescribing minors with cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. The document also claims that individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria may become suicidal and that “risks decline when transgender people are supported and live according to their gender identity.”

One mother involved with the lawsuit said that after SB 14 was passed, she moved her 9-year-old son—who “identifies” as a girl—out of Texas and split up her family to ensure the child could receive puberty blockers.

“We all intend to return and reunite in our home once it is safe for Maeve to receive this care in the state,” wrote the mother. “I am heartbroken to have to take my children away from their home and their father, even temporarily. But I know that Texas is not a safe place for my daughter if this law forbids her access to this care.”

Paul D. Castillo, senior counsel with Lambda Legal, claimed that SB 14 is harmful to minors diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

“The attack that Texas legislators and the governor have launched against transgender youth and their families and providers is stunning in its cruelty,” said Castillo. “They are actively ignoring the science, dismissing best-practice medical care, intervening in a parent’s right to care for and love their child, and explicitly exposing trans youth in Texas to rampant discrimination. This law is not just harmful and cruel, it is life-threatening.”

On social media, Texas Family Project condemned the lawsuit.

“@ACLU has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to derail SB 14, which defends our kids from bodily mutilation and chemical castration,” wrote TFP. “This is a waste of time and a pathetic attempt at trying to protect groomers that want to sexualize and mutilate children.”

SB 14 goes into effect September 1, 2023.

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.