As a directive from Greg Abbott that endangers trans children and their parents makes its way through the courts, several prominent business and entertainment leaders denounced the anti-trans efforts from Texas.
Last month, Abbott directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-affirming healthcare for trans children as “child abuse.” Abbott’s move came after indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding legal opinion.
On Friday evening, a judge blocked the directive to DFPS, halting several investigations into parents of trans children. The ruling from district judge Amy Clark Meachum came after a lawsuit was filed from the ACLU of Texas and Lambda Legal on behalf of an employee with DFPS, who has a trans daughter, was being investigated.
Paxton immediately said he was appealing the ruling from Meachum, and that the order was frozen though it was unclear what he meant. On Twitter, he also said he was prepared to take this to the Supreme Court.
Last week, over sixty companies signed onto an open letter in the Dallas Morning News with the Human Rights Campaign urging Abbott to drop the anti-trans directive. Businesses that signed on to the letter included Johnson & Johnson, Apple, IBM, and Neiman Marcus.
Abbott’s cruel directive was also a major topic at the SXSW Festival, currently happening in Austin for the first time in two years. Lizzo, who is a native of Houston, offered a harsh rebuke for the anti-trans order in a keynote speech. “There are very regressive laws being passed,” she said. “They’re taking away the right for children to have a chance to live authentically. It’s a violation of human rights.”
The actress Busy Philipps also wore a t-shirt with the message “trans rights are human rights” as she was promoting the Peacock series “Girls5Eva.” Phillips is the parent of a gay child who uses they/them pronouns. The actress also took to her Instagram to call the governor of Texas, “a small sad man grasping for power.”
There were also multiple rallies at the Capitol for trans children and their families throughout the weekend. Earlier today, state representatives Erin Zwiener, Jessica Gonzales, and Donna Howard stood at the Capitol alongside Equality Texas and an organization called Mama Bears, which is dedicated to supporting and educating parents of LGBTQ children, to condemn the legislation.
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).