Parent slams Texas AG Paxton for using transgender kids as political pawns

Parent slams Texas AG Paxton for using transgender kids as political pawns

Far-right Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has never been shy about playing the playing the culture war card, and he has recently been using transgender kids as a political pawn — declaring that transition care for them is “child abuse.” Some Texas prosecutors are responding to Paxton by refusing to prosecute the parents of transgender children. And Adam Briggle, the father of a transgender child in Texas, calls Paxton out in an open letter published by USA Today on February 25.

Briggle and Paxton met in 2016, when Briggle invited Paxton over for dinner in the hope of educating him on transgender issues. Briggle’s son was eight at the time.

“Your recent ‘formal attorney general opinion’ defines gender-affirming health care for trans kids as ‘child abuse,’” Briggle tells Paxton in his open letter. “Gov. Greg Abbott has instructed state agencies to investigate and prosecute such ‘abuse.’ Your message to thousands of trans-inclusive families across the state is clear: You want to rip kids from loving homes, you do not want transgender youth to exist.”

Briggle goes on to note that his transgender son is now 14.

The Texan tells Paxton, “Is your heart so cold that you would plot all this time to engineer the destruction of thousands of families who are raising thoughtful, kind and happy children?.... When the state takes children from homes, it is exercising its most profound power. Any politician must wield it with the utmost caution. You have an obligation to know what you are doing.”

Briggle adds that the “gender-affirming care” he regards as “child abuse” is the total opposite of abusive.

“Your opinion shows your continued ignorance when it comes to the treatments you seek to classify as ‘abuse,” Briggle tells Paxton in the open letter. “Eliding the medical consensus on the benefits of gender-affirming care, you cherry-pick your way through dubious sources to give a foregone political conclusion a patina of evidence and argument.”

Paxton’s fear-mongering over transgender children, according to Briggle, is motivated entirely by politics — not a genuine concern for the children.

“You can afford to be cavalier in your opinion,” Briggle writes. “What does it matter to you? This is all about appearance: You get to look tough during the political primary season. The distorted narrative, long debunked by the relevant medical organizations, your opinion parrots is the story that will get you reelected. And you are sticking to it, despite knowing my family. You should know better. You broke bread with us only to betray us.”

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