Ken Paxton’s Grotesque Crusade Against Trans Children

by | Feb 22, 2022 | LGBTQ Rights, Policy

Indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton has a particularly awful record when it comes to LGBTQ rights and affirmation. Yesterday, Paxton took his bigoted crusade even further with an attorney general opinion that would classify certain medical procedures and medications for trans children as “child abuse.”

Specifically, Paxton’s opinion declares that this healthcare classifies as child abuse under the Texas Family Code and that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services should “act accordingly.” The attorney general opinion then used several outdated and offensive descriptions of trans healthcare. The official opinion was sent to state Rep. Matt Krause, who is the Chair of the House Committee on General Investigating.

Greg Abbott seemingly agreed with the opinion from Paxton on Twitter. “The Texas Dept. of Family & Protective Services will enforce this ruling and investigate & refer for prosecution any such abuse.”

Last year’s legislative session in Texas was exceptionally cruel to the trans community. An anti-trans sports bill, which would bans trans students from playing on teams consistent with their identity, passed and was signed by Governor Abbott. In 2021, more than 75 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed in Texas, which was an increase of over 50 percent from the last session.

Paxton also filed a lawsuit last year with the Biden Administration over workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. On Twitter, he claimed that such protections would “put women and children at risk.”

Reaction to Paxton’s latest anti-trans decree was swift, with many noting that this opinion is completely counter to guidance from the largest medical and pediatric healthcare organizations in the country. Trans activist and actress Jen Richards articulated how this also seems to violate the limited government principles Republicans purport to represent. “Horrific on its own merits, it’s also the rankest of hypocrisy from the very same people who claim they want the government to stay out of your business and say they support parental rights,” she wrote on Twitter.

In a statement, Equality Texas CEO Ricardo Martinez blasted the opinion from Paxton.

“Disinformation, being spread about transgender people and their healthcare, highlights, exaggerates and imagines a non-existent problem as an urgent moral emergency that must be tackled right now – days before the primary election,” said Martinez. “Misconstruing the law and amplifying junk science to attack innocent children and their parents is cruel, beneath contempt, and could have a devastating effect on transgender youth and their families.” 

Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

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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).

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