President Joe Biden reiterated his support for transgender youth in Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, responding to the surge of anti-transgender bills across the country.
“The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families, it’s simply wrong,” Biden said. “As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your president.”
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But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is not backing down from his backwards rhetoric on affirming transgender youth. He responded to Biden’s support of transgender youth on Wednesday by accusing him of endorsing “genital mutilation.”
“It is shocking and sad that Joe Biden would champion cruel forms of child abuse such as genital mutilation through forced so-called sex-change operations and the prescription of dangerous puberty blockers,” Paxton told Fox News. “I will always defend the children of Texas from these inhumane procedures.”
Paxton is misrepresenting the truth. Non-trans children with certain medical conditions have taken puberty blockers for decades without any harmful effects. Furthermore, surgery on trans youth is rare and usually occurs later in their transition.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently ordered the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families who provided their children with access to gender-affirming care based on Paxton’s reinterpretation of the state’s child abuse laws.
Texas judge Amy Clark Meachum blocked those efforts yesterday, granting a temporary restraining order to prevent “child abuse” investigations like the one initiated against a DFPS employee with a transgender child. Judge Meachum will hold a hearing about the legality of Abbott’s order on March 11.
In Paxton’s legal opinion, he claimed that “there is no evidence that long-term mental health outcomes are improved or that rates of suicide are reduced by hormonal or surgical intervention.”
However, multiple studies have shown the benefits of providing transgender youth with access to affirming healthcare, including pubertal suppression and hormone therapy.
Biden doubled down on his support for transgender affirming care in a statement Wednesday.
“Transgender children bring fulfillment to their parents, joy to their friends, and are made in the image of God,” Biden wrote. “Affirming a transgender child’s identity is one of the best things a parent, teacher, or doctor can do to help keep children from harm, and parents who love and affirm their children should be applauded and supported, not threatened, investigated, or stigmatized.”