It’s hard to read the news these days without learning about yet another attack on the LGBTQ+ community. Between AG Paxton’s ongoing cruelty and disinformation, the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation coming out of other states, and the constant attacks on inclusive schools, it can be overwhelming.
But there are so many bright lights cutting through the darkness. Community, allies, and even folks who are just learning about our issues are fighting back on every front.
It’s been roughly a month since Governor Abbott directed the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate loving families of transgender kids in accordance with AG Paxton’s non-binding opinion. On March 11 a Judge granted a temporary injunction halting Child Protective Services (CPS) investigations into families for providing best-practice life-saving healthcare for their kids. AG Paxton immediately appealed the injunction, injecting fear and confusion about whether investigations would continue.
On Monday, March 21, an appeals court reaffirmed the temporary injunction in order to prevent “irreparable harm” as the original case makes its way through the courts. This is Paxton’s second lost appeal regarding the injunction and last Wednesday, March 25, Paxton again baselessly appealed the injunction decision to the Texas Supreme Court.
To be clear — what AG Paxton is so relentlessly fighting against in these appeals is — a temporary pause in the investigations that terrorize children and families despite two rulings that continuing the investigations could cause “irreparable harm.” Jane Doe’s case will still have to go through the courts for them to decide whether or not the state went beyond its powers in directing DFPS to investigate families for providing necessary affirming healthcare for their kids.
Meanwhile, Paxton has moved forward on two more baseless actions deliberately misinterpreting state law to create fear and confusion for LGBTQ+ Texans. Last Thursday, he moved forward with an investigation of two pharmaceutical companies that manufacture medication involved in best-practice care for transgender kids for “deceptive trade practices.” He also recently accused Austin ISD of breaking Texas law by hosting “Pride Week,” a week full of activities to celebrate LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families and to highlight the district’s commitment to creating a safe, supportive and inclusive environment.
Neither of these actions have the weight of law behind them. They are simply an extension of AG Paxton’s determined crusade to abuse the power of his office in pursuit of demonizing the LGBTQ+ community for political points.
These moves are cruel political theater that create a climate of fear and put kids in danger. Even though these actions don’t have the weight of law, confusion and disinformation are tools of oppression and cause immense harm. It’s crystal clear that AG Paxton’s actions are not rooted in the safety or well-being of the kids involved.
We’ll keep applying pressure to DFPS to remind them of their sacred duty to care for the children of Texas. Stay up to date on the latest opportunities to get involved here.
This week we joined the Texas Freedom Network’s coalition to “Teach the Truth” to combat education censorship. Every child deserves an accurate, honest education regardless of their race, class, genders, or background. Through this statewide coalition, we’re providing the resources so folks can fight back against book and curriculum censorship in their communities.
Join our upcoming webinar on the censorship of LGBTQ+ identities on April 7 and hear directly from the student activists who are fighting back.
Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness, is next Thursday March 31. To have a day committed to joy and accomplishment in the midst of the onslaught of attacks is so important and powerful. Please support folks at these community events.
This week two Republican Governors vetoed anti-trans sports bans in Utah and Indiana, showing political courage to support what is right despite extreme pressure. The Governor of Utah’s words were especially resonant as he wrote, “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live.”
The work we collectively do is so important and has the capacity to truly change hearts and minds all over the country. Thank you for being a part of it.