Texas lawmakers plan to make forcing children into “transgender” medical treatments a major issue in the next legislative session in the wake of the custody battle engulfing seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother reportedly affirms he is a transgender child named “Luna.”
The Texas custody case has sparked action on the part of state Republican lawmakers who say they will consider legislation that would ban puberty blockers for children with gender dysphoria or label a decision to “transition” a minor child as child abuse.
According to a report at Dallas News, the intense focus on the conflict between James’s parents and the decisions the young boy’s mother reportedly planned to make may serve to design policy that will unify Republicans and draw support from some Democrat parents as well.
Family District Court Judge Kim Cooks ruled Thursday that James’s father, Jeffrey Younger, will share joint guardianship with the boy’s mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, a pediatrician accused of diagnosing their son with “gender-dysphoria.” The judge’s decision allows Younger, who opposes medical treatments for their son, to share in the medical decision-making for James.
The ruling came after a jury decided against Jeffrey Younger’s participation in the decision-making. The father made known he wished to block Georgulas from placing their son on puberty blockers and begin the “transition” process.
Some Republican lawmakers seized on the outrage expressed by many in the nation over the notion that a parent would make the decision to consider placing a child on puberty blockers when he is cognitively unable to comprehend the consequences of that action at his age.
State Rep. Matt Krause, for example, tweeted he will “introduce legislation that prohibits the use of puberty blockers in these situations for children under 18″:
Absent a special session between now & the the 87th Session, I will introduce legislation that prohibits the use of puberty blockers in these situations for children under 18. We missed our opportunity to do so in the 86th Session. We won’t miss the next one. #savejamesyounger https://t.co/BpbGDPwujZ
— Matt Krause (@RepMattKrause) October 24, 2019
“We missed our opportunity to do so in the 86th Session,” he added. “We won’t miss the next one.”
State Rep. Jared Patterson echoed Krause’s plan:
I look forward to working with you on that!
— Rep. Jared Patterson (@JaredLPatterson) October 24, 2019
State Rep. Steve Toth tweeted his first bill to file in the 87th Session “will add ‘Transitioning of a Minor’ as Child Abuse”:
The 1st bill I file in the 87th will add “Transitioning Of a Minor” as Child Abuse. Upwards of 500 minors are being transitioned in TX
We didn’t protect these children in the 86th
The wrath of Texans will be heard in the 87th.
Texas will step up to #SaveJamesYounger
— Steve Toth (@Toth_4_Texas) October 26, 2019
“Upwards of 500 minors are being transitioned in TX,” Toth tweeted. “We didn’t protect these children in the 86th. The wrath of Texans will be heard in the 87th.”
The Kelsey Coalition, a national organization of parents whose children claim to be transgender, thanked Toth for his intention to proceed with legislation:
“Thank you for this important legislation,” the group tweeted. “The Kelsey Coalition represents hundreds of parents throughout the US. We collect parent stories like this, and have a leader in Texas with a group of parents ready to help you.”
Thank you for this important legislation. The Kelsey Coalition represents hundreds of parents throughout the US. We collect parent stories like this, and have a leader in Texas with a group of parents ready to help you. https://t.co/4fMxXacdF0
— The Kelsey Coalition (@CoalitionKelsey) October 26, 2019
Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor, told Dallas News the issues surrounding transgender children could draw Democrats into the Republican legislative efforts as well.
“[T]his issue of transgender children and the current role of parents — that is one where I think the majority of Texans probably agree with the GOP position more than with the Democratic position,” Jones said.
In an appearance on Fox News, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick observed, “We have to look out for the health care and well-being of children.”
“We always pass policy to protect children, and there’s no rhyme or reason that a 7-year-old should go through psychological training to become a boy or a girl opposite to what they were born,” he said. “It’s just not right, and the people know that.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called on the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate “possible child abuse against seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother has proposed chemically and surgically altering his biological sex based on her belief that he may identify as a girl”:
“Texans understand that children…should be supported and properly cared for as they grow up in our communities. I trust that DFPS will act immediately upon our request, conduct a thorough investigation, and protect this child.” – AG Paxtonhttps://t.co/lyT03UibaV
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) October 24, 2019
“Texans understand that children are cherished, unique individuals who should be supported and properly cared for as they grow up in our communities,” Paxton said in a statement. “I trust that DFPS will act immediately upon our request, conduct a thorough investigation, and protect this child.”
On the federal level, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) has written a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy James Carroll, and Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins, to express his concerns about “forced medical treatments for gender dysphoria in young children.”
A 7-year-old shouldn't be subjected to barbaric medical procedures because of an irresponsible adult.
— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) October 24, 2019
Roy noted in his letter the “limited studies and data points” on the effects of medicalizing gender transition “are a cause for deep concern and show how little we know about the long-term impact of forced medical treatments for gender dysphoria in young children.”