House Bill (HB) 68, which Toth has dubbed “The Innocence Protection Act,” has sat in the Texas House Public Health Committee for a month. It would classify medical procedures to change a child’s sex, such as puberty blockers or genital surgeries, as child abuse.
A number of activists and medical professionals appeared at the presser to speak alongside Toth and Jeff Younger, the father of James Younger. James is a young Texas boy whose mother claims against the father’s opposition that he is a transgender girl named Luna. Mr. Younger and the boy’s mother engaged in a fraught and publicized tug-of-war over custody rights with treatment for the boy’s alleged gender dysphoria at stake.
Mr. Younger claims that James’ mother Anne Georgulas was close to getting the boy puberty blockers and other physical sex change treatments before the court granted him joint conservatorship over his son.
“It’s very clear that schools, government agencies, courts, and psychological boards of examiners are not going to do the right thing,” Younger said.
“My son, a boy by gender, a male by sex, and his legal name is James David Younger — the Coppell Independent School District still continues to call him by a girl’s name, continues to use female pronouns, allows him to use the girl’s bathroom, and still teaches him as a girl. When I took him to school as a boy, the teacher gave him a dress to put on.”
Houston-area therapist David Pickup said he treats many children suffering from gender dysphoria and framed Toth’s bill as an apolitical cause.
“Every single thing that psychologists and psychotherapists and the APAs of this world are telling people, parents and children, about ‘inborn’ gender dysphoria… it is not based on one conclusive research study that’s ever been produced in the last 10, 20 years. Not one,” Pickup said.
“Healthy body parts — penises, breasts — they’re being removed because a bunch of scientists who claim science have authored their belief system on something that doesn’t exist. They have no proof… The media is not telling the general public that gender dysphoria is resolvable. It’s happening in my office on a weekly basis.”
He was joined by former servicemember, gerontologist, and activist Sarah Jessica Fields, who called transgender surgeries and procedures a lucrative market.
“I want to remind everyone that science is funded, and therefore we have to follow the money… I want you to remember that transitioning individuals are medical patients are life,” Fields says.
“There are vast corporate interests in the medicalization of gender non-conforming children. It has grown at a shocking pace… There are more children’s gender clinics now than there are adult gender clinics because that’s where the money is.”
Toth’s bill would not apply to social techniques to encourage or affirm transgender identity. For example, Mr. Younger claims that James’ school encourages a female identity and gives him a dress to wear when he enters class.
The bill makes an exception for intersex children, defined in the text as “a child with external biological sex characteristics that are irresolvably ambiguous.”
Current Texas penal law classifies continuous abuse of a child as a first degree felony, punishable by life imprisonment. Indecency with a child can be a second or third degree felony. The actual definition of child abuse is in the Family Code, which classifies failure to report abuse as a Class A misdemeanor.
A number of Texas lawmakers appeared in tacit support, including state Reps. Bryan Slaton (R-Royce City), Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), and Cody Vasut (R-Angleton). State Sen. Bob Hall (R-Canton) spoke in favor of the bill and against what he called “boutique children.”
“I can remember kids from elementary school. The boys were sissies, the girls were tomboys. Some of those sissies grew up to be some of the toughest football players. Those tomboys? Knockouts for homecoming queen,” Hall joked.
“But now? Who knows what would happen to them? … We’re talking about drugs that are irreversible. We’re talking about children. We’re not talking about adults.”
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.