San Antonio Express-News
San Antonio Express-News
Governor Greg Abbott’s directive equating gender-affirming care for transgender youth with child abuse and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s indicted opinion on the matter are much more than political posturing, playing angles in a election year. These actions are morally wrong, inhumane and harm lives.
Texas conservatives talk a lot about limited government, only to parachute into the most intimate parts of life, limit access to legal abortion, and now preposterously target vulnerable transgender youth and their parents.
Although the Legislature did not pass Senate Bill 1646, which sought to classify gender-affirming care as child abuse, Paxton nonetheless issued his non-binding legal opinion on February 18 equating the change surgery sex abuse, puberty blockers and testosterone and estrogen treatments to child abuse.
A few days later, Abbott followed up with his directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. A week later, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, the nation’s largest pediatric hospital, stopped providing hormone therapy to transgender youth.
There are at least nine Child Protective Services investigations of transgender youth and their parents. One of those parents, Amber Briggle, blogged about her family’s experience, calling it “a horror show.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on March 1 seeking to block this statewide directive. On Friday, Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a statewide temporary injunction against Abbott’s directive.
As the ACLU lawsuit asserts, “The Governor of Texas, the Attorney General, and the Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services attempted to legislate by press release.”
We agree. And we are struck by how these actions dehumanize individuals and families who deserve love, compassion and support.
Science is on the side of families. Treatment for people diagnosed with gender dysphoria is a healthcare decision – guided by medical and mental health professionals.
Medical organizations including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrine Society have strongly condemned the state’s efforts, saying they are blocking evidence-based medical care. proofs.
The National Association of Social Workers has condemned continued efforts to define gender-affirming care as child abuse, saying in a statement that it “poses an imminent danger to transgender youth and their families.”
Many district attorneys, including Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales, have found the policy illegal and unfair.
Sixty-five major American companies doing business in Texas are asking Abbott to cancel its order.
President Joe Biden condemned Abbott’s directive, calling it an “excessive push by government at its worst,” and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced “several immediate actions to support LGBTQI+ youth.” Now Texas could lose more than $1 billion in federal funding for violating the Affordable Care Act, filing a lawsuit to try to stop it, according to the Texas Tribune.
And why? Politics?
It’s part of a GOP-led movement that includes hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being considered in state legislatures across the country.
The business community should be outraged about this. Voters should hear Briggle’s pleas: “We all need you. We cannot do it alone. We are crying out for help. Can you hear us now? »
We hear you. Keep fighting – until Paxton and Abbott reverse this policy.