Dallas Unveils Pride Flag as LGBTQ+ Community Continues to Face Issues With Equality

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The LGBTQ+ community and its allies will be celebrating Pride Month with a parade and a renewed call for equality this weekend.

The Resource Center in Dallas, which provides programs and assistance for the LGBTQ+ community, says much progress has been made, but the fight for visibility, inclusion and equality continues.

Activists say among the biggest issues facing the community are laws targeting transgender youth.

In February, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who is running for re-election, ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to open child abuse investigations on parents of trans youth seeking gender-affirming medical care.

One of the agency’s first investigations was into one of its own employees, who has a transgender child.

The legal fight ended up in the Texas Supreme Court which issued a mixed ruling on the issue that had both sides claiming victory.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal sued on behalf of the employee, referred to as Jane Doe, and Megan Mooney, a psychologist who treats trans youths.

Following the decision of lower courts, the issue ended up in the Texas Supreme Court.

The court decision blocked the investigation into the ‘Jane Doe’ family and ruled that the governor lacks the authority to direct the agency to investigate the parents of transgender youth, but it also struck down a statewide injunction blocking investigations into the parents of other trans youths.

While the ruling could open the door for other parents to face the same situation as the ‘Jane Doe’ family, the ACLU of Texas is confident they would prevail.

“Pursuing these investigations on the affirming parents of transgender youth causes ‘irreparable harm,’” said Adri Perez, an LGBTQ strategist for the ACLU of Texas quoting part of the court’s ruling.

In May, a Dallas County Judge ruled that doctors at Children’s Health and UT Southwestern Medical Centers can resume treatment for all trans youth after denying some services to new patients.

“It is suicide prevention. It saves lives,” said Perez of gender-affirming treatment.

Perez said another goal is to keep pushing for statewide protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

“There is a bill that is going to be filed next year to fight for those protections,” said Perez. “We know that in the state of Texas, over 70% of people here support non-discrimination protections for all Texans, including transgender Texans.”

The Resource Center reports some encouraging news on the road to inclusion in the workforce.

Leslie McMurray says the agency has received an increased number of calls from companies, including large corporations, seeking input on more inclusive workplace policies.

“It just makes my day when I see these companies reaching out and say: Hey, we want to know. We want to help. We want to be inclusive,” said McMurray.

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