The judge tells the Texas attorney general to stay out of the trans trial. Nobody wants him there / LGBTQ Nation
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right)Photo: Screenshot
A Texas Dallas County judge has ruled transphobic state attorney general Ken Paxton can’t intervene in a lawsuit that would help transgender youth get gender-affirming care at a children’s hospital from the city.
The judge’s decision marks the latest legal defeat in Paxton’s repeated attempts to score political points by attacking gay children. Paxton’s office has repeatedly asserted — without legal backing and against traditional medical recommendations — that gender-affirming care is a form of “child abuse.”
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Dallas County Judge Melissa Bellan ruled last Friday that Paxton failed to convince her of the state’s right to weigh in on a settlement between Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Dr. Ximena Lopez. Lopez sued the hospital in March, claiming the hospital violated non-discrimination policies when it decided to stop offering puberty blockers and hormone therapy as part of its gender-affirming care offerings. in November 2021.
Dallas Children’s Medical Center and Dr. Lopez had reached an agreement to let her continue providing gender-affirming care until April 2023, while her lawsuit against the hospital continues.
Paxton attempted to intervene in the case and oppose the deal, calling it “child abuse”, even though the Children’s Medical Center had not asked him. However, Dallas County Judge Melissa Bellan had none of it.
Bellan ruled that Paxton provided no evidence of his “child abuse” allegation or evidence that his intervention would further any compelling government interest.
Paxton’s lawyers pointed to the non-binding opinion he issued in February stating that gender-affirming health care for transgender youth is a form of child abuse. Her opinion supported Governor Greg Abbott to order the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate parents who allow their trans children access to gender-affirming medical care prescribed by their doctors.
However, Lopez’s attorneys pointed out that Paxton’s opinion had no legal basis because no state law defines gender-affirming caregiving as a form of child abuse. Additionally, last month, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state government had no right to order the DFPS to investigate parents of trans youth for child abuse.
“The attorney general has no business in this case and tried to push his way through it to satisfy a political interest, not a legal one,” said one of Lopez’s lawyers, Charla Aldous. The Dallas Morning News. “The Attorney General intervened in this trial aimlessly but only by intimidation,” added Brent Walker, another of Lopez’s attorneys.
Paxton’s office is expected to challenge its decision in the Dallas Fifth Court of Appeals.
Paxton’s and Abbott’s views run counter to best practices in trans-related pediatrics outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and American Psychological Association. Organizations find that gender-affirming medical care is medically necessary and reduces suicide and depression among trans youth.