The right’s growing grooming problem

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Grand Old Perverts, Republican Party, Staff Picks

For years, some of the most powerful figures in Texas politics have led a fight to vilify LGBTQ Texans and create artificial divisions in communities across the state. From attempting to ban popular drag shows to more startling efforts to outlaw health care options for transgender Texans, the Texas GOP has led some of the most discriminatory policies in the nation. And recent developments in the Texas Legislature likely signal a difficult session ahead.

In a press conference today, right-wing lawmakers doubled down on their radical beliefs that pose a serious risk to LGBTQ Texans. The Texas GOP has already been steadfastly committed to unprecedented censorship in Texas public schools and libraries, banning books that touch on topics such as sexuality, gender, and race in an all-out effort at cultural erasure and attacking public school educators. Their dalliance with banning drag shows, which we’re willing to bet have a higher approval rating than the Texas Legislature, has spanned half a decade in a farcical quest to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

In their effort to inaccurately define LGBTQ Texas as child predators, these same right-wing politicians have exposed their own deep hypocrisy. According to data reviewed by Texas Signal, while there is a growing human trafficking and child abuse crisis in Texas, the predators perpetrating those acts are coming from our own communities, with church leaders, community activists, and others accused of galling crimes, all while elected officials across the state have turned a blind eye.

At the top of the list is the highest-ranking elected official in the state – Governor Greg Abbott. Abbott’s own record on protecting Texas children is decidedly mixed at best. While the governor’s refusal to embrace common sense gun laws has led to a worsening school violence crisis, he’s also dropped the ball on several occasions where his failed leadership has led to children being hurt.

The most galling example of that failure was a scandal at a state-run shelter for children, many of whom had been victims of human trafficking. Those children, who ranged in age from 11-17 years old, were further victimized at the shelter, and the state failed to act to protect the children for an entire month after the abuse was reported.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to report on this important investigation to reveal the Texas GOP’s record of failure and hypocrisy. 

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