Biden Condemns Texas Officials’ Attacks On Transgender Youth

President Joe Biden issued a statement condemning the actions of Texas officials who aim to "investigate" parents who allow their transgender children to receive gender-affirming medical care.
President Joe Biden (photo via public domain/Flickr/WhiteHouse)

President Joe Biden condemned Texas officials – including the state’s governor – in a statement on Wednesday calling recent investigations into the families of transgender youth  “discriminatory actions” that “put children’s lives at risk.”

In his statement, Biden said the actions of the officials, which has prompted legal challenges, amounts to “weaponizing child protective services against loving families.”

In addition to the president’s statement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a list of actions it would take to protect trans youth and their families in Texas.

According to NBC News, all of this stems from a directive from Gov. Greg Abbott calling on the general public and “licensed professionals” to report parents of trans minors if the youth appear to be receiving gender-affirming medical care like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Related: Biden Repeals Transgender Military Ban

Abbott also ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the state’s child protective services agency, to begin investigating parents who allow their children access to gender-affirming health care prescribed by their doctors after Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion equating gender-affirming care to “child abuse.”

Texas legislators last year considered a bill to this effect, but it failed to pass. Abbott’s current actions appear to be a kind of end-run around that failure.

Civil rights groups intervened, filing a lawsuit Tuesday after the department opened an investigation last week into one of its own employees who has a transgender child.

On Wednesday evening, hours before Biden’s statement, a judge temporarily blocked the state’s investigation into that family, but other similar investigations were unaffected.

During his State of the Union address this week, Biden addressed LGBTQ rights and specifically mentioned trans youth:

“For our L.G.B.T.Q.+ Americans, let’s finally get the bipartisan Equality Act to my desk. The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families is simply wrong.

“I’ve said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your president, so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.”