The Governor of Texas (USA), Greg Abbott, has spent the past year promoting an anti-transgender agenda publicly calling for gender-affirming treatment for children to be classified as ‘child abuse’. The state’s Attorney-General, Ken Paxton, agreed with this stance, further stroking this transphobic sentiment. Such services included providing hormone treatment and puberty blockers.
The Governor directed his state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate some of the strategies used by clinics which provide services to those under 18 years of age, who have applied for gender-affirming treatment. Governor Abbott also directed the Department to investigate parents whose transgender children are being provided with gender-affirming care.
When this was announced, the American Civil Liberties Union immediately became involved, and as a result, no such investigations took place. The Department officials said that they had received a handful of reports about transgender families, but no action was taken.
This was good news for the families of transgender children who feared being reported. These families described the emotional turmoil on hearing this report, describing feelings of fear and anxiety.
One such family said that “raising a transgender child in Texas has been one long political emergency. It always seemed like this day would come. Now it has arrived”. And one media commentator pointed out that “the threat of legal action certainly creates anxiety for hospitals, doctors and, of course, the families involved in transgender treatment”.
In the United States, there are now more than 60 comprehensive gender clinics, with many therapists and doctors in private practice who see young patients with gender-identity issues. When various US states aimed to target parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care to transgender children with child abuse investigations, the Department of Family and Protective Services took multiple actions to support transgender children in receiving the care they need. The Department also promised to use every tool available to protect LGBTIQ+ children and support their families.
The Biden-Harris Administration now actively promotes support for transgender kids. President Biden describes legislative attacks against trans-gender youth as “un-American”. In his recent State of the Union Address, Biden addressed young transgender Americans by saying “I will always have your back as your president, so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential”.
President Biden continues his campaign, calling on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, legislation which will provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTIQ+ Americans, as well as transgender people. It is hoped that this Act will address the epidemic levels of discrimination and even violence, which are faced by transgender people. Biden’s first Statement of Administration Policy is designed to support the Equality Act; and the White House has convened national leaders to discuss the importance of this legislation.
Nicholes Family Lawyers are proud to advocate for people of all gender identities and want to promote awareness regarding transgender rights and protections in Australia.