Courts And Kids Block GOP Efforts To Sh*t On Trans People
These are dark, dark days for the LGBTQ+ community, with the GOP flailing around for a culture war wedge issue, and deciding they'll just call everyone a pedophile and roll the dice. But even as it's all going to shit, there are some bright spots.
On Friday, US District Judge Liles Burke, a Trump appointee, enjoined most of the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, which sought to criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for minors.
"The Act prevents Parent Plaintiffs from choosing that course of treatment for their children by criminalizing the use of transitioning medications to treat gender dysphoria in minors, even at the independent recommendation of a licensed pediatrician," Judge Liles wrote, finding that the law likely infringed on the due process rights of parents and their children.
"Defendants produce no credible evidence to show that transitioning medications are 'experimental.' While Defendants offer some evidence that transitioning medications pose certain risks, the uncontradicted record evidence is that at least twenty-two major medical associations in the United States endorse transitioning medications as well-established, evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria in minors," he added later, noting that parents have used puberty-blockers for decades to delay puberty for reasons such as giving their kids an extra few inches of height, so the state's argument that these drugs are dangerous was simply nonsense on its face.
And furthermore, according the Supreme Court's holding in Bostock v. Clayton County, discrimination against transgender people is by definition discrimination on the basis of sex, and denying medical treatment to kids simply because they are transgender is thus illegal under the Equal Protection Clause. If parents can greenlight breast implants for a 17-year-old cisgender girl, they can do it for transgender girl, too.
"Finally, nothing in the record shows that medical providers are pushing transitioning medications on minors. Accordingly, the States’ proffered justifications are hypothesized, not exceedingly persuasive," the court concluded, scoffing at the state's preposterous claim that someone, somewhere, with an agenda was pushing (not to say grooming) kids to transition.
Unfortunately, the court allowed the provisions of the law forcing teachers to out students to their parents to go into effect. Which is gross and terrible. But this is a Trump appointee in Alabama, so thank God for small victories.
Similarly, in Texas, GOP Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton were dealt a loss on Friday, which they spun as a win, of course. After the state failed to pass a law similar to Alabama's, Paxton issued an Advisory Opinion saying gender-affirming healthcare caused sterilization and mutilation, and defining it as child abuse when provided to minors. Then Abbott followed up with his own letter ordering state agencies, particularly the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, to investigate families and medical care providers of gender-affirming care for child abuse.
A DFPS employee with a transgender child who faced investigation sued, and the trial court granted an emergency injunction statewide. On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court voided the statewide injunction, which sounds BAD — and that's what Paxton would like you to think. But in reality the court said an injunction was inappropriate because Paxton and Abbott never had the authority to unilaterally rewrite the law and order DFPS to enforce it. The plaintiffs in this case still get their injunction, and, although the court found that a statewide injunction was not appropriate on an emergency basis, presumably any Texas family facing an investigation will also be able to get an injunction.
And to round out the "it could be worse" news, Wyoming GOP Senator Cynthia Lummis delivered what she thought would be an easy applause line at the University of Wyoming's commencement over the week, but it didn't land as she expected.
“There are those in government who believe not that the creator endowed us with inalienable rights … but that government created those rights,” Lummis said. “And the government should redefine those rights, including our rights to freedom of speech, religion, property, assembly and to keep and bear arms. Even fundamental scientific truths — such as the existence of two sexes, male and female — are subject to challenge these days.”
After which there was a "25-second pause [with] audible booing and jeering — along with sporadic applause," according the Oil City News, as the newly-minted graduates expressed their displeasure at her using their commencement to shit on trans people.
"My reference to the existence of two sexes was intended to highlight the times in which we find ourselves, times in which the metric of biological sex is under debate with potential implications for the shared Wyoming value of equality,” Lummis said later. “I share the fundamental belief that women and men are equal, but also acknowledge that there are biological differences and circumstances in which these differences need to be recognized. That being said, it was never my intention to make anyone feel un-welcomed or disrespected, and for that I apologize."
What. Ever. Lady.
The point is, the kids are good. And they are loud. And they will win in the end.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.