Texas government officials can continue to investigate parents who transition their children to the opposite sex for possible child abuse, the state’s supreme court ruled Friday.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) determined that child sex change surgeries constituted child abuse in August 2021 upon prompting by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and the DFPS began investigations of families for potential child abuse over treatments their transgender children were receiving in February. An appeals court had previously blocked these inquiries throughout the state, but the Texas Supreme Court ruled the lower court had “abused its discretion.”
Texas District Judge Amy Clark Meachum blocked the state’s Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) on Friday from investigating parents of transgender children for child abuse with regard to providing hormone therapy.
The decision is the most recent in a weeklong civil lawsuit filed by the parents of a transgender child and a psychologist from the Houston area who are challenging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order from last month calling for “prompt and thorough investigation” into reported instances of “gender-transitioning procedures” among minors.
On Thursday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) signed a bill that will completely ban so-called “transgender” individuals from competing in girls’ and women’s sports, forcing them to remain with the teams of their actual biological gender.
The Hill reports that the bill, House File 2416, had previously passed the Iowa State House in February and was passed by the State Senate on Wednesday. Both chambers are controlled by Republican majorities.
The new law declares that “only female students, based on their sex, may participate in any team, sport, or athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls.” The bill clearly defines “sex” as the “biological sex” listed on the individual’s birth certificate, and encompasses sports teams at all levels of school, community college, and college.
District attorneys for five of the largest counties in Texas are defying Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order to treat sex change surgeries for children as child abuse.
Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) Tuesday to investigate instances of children undergoing sex change procedures, including “reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”
The performance of surgical and chemical procedures on children for the purpose of gender transition “can legally constitute child abuse” under Texas law, declared Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Friday in a formal attorney general opinion.
Paxton responded to questions from State Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, who asked whether “sex change” surgeries performed on children, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, penectomy, phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, mastectomies, and removal of otherwise healthy body parts, constitute child abuse.
Social media users that post certain kinds of offensive content could face a prison sentence of up to two years under a proposed United Kingdom law, The Times reported.
The Online Safety Bill, a piece of proposed legislation overhauling the U.K.’s online communications laws, will include a provision that criminalizes content that causes “likely psychological harm,” with sentences reaching up to two years, according to The Times. Examples of newly-illegal social media posts include “knowingly false communication” with the intention to cause “emotional” harm, as well as “pile-ons” in which a group of people coordinate to send unpleasant messages to one user.
Gov. Greg Abbott asked the state’s Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) Friday to say whether transgender surgeries for children constitutes child abuse.
The Texas Republican called on Jaime Masters, commissioner of the DFPS, to make a determination of whether “genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse” in a Friday letter.
Apple plans to scan all iPhone in the U.S. for potential child abuse imagery.
The move announced Thursday generated shock waves among security experts who say it could allow the company to surveil many millions of phones for reasons unrelated to images of child abuse.
“This sort of tool can be a boon for finding child pornography in people’s phones. But image what it could do in the hands of an authoritarian government,” tweeted Johns Hopkins professor and cryptographer Matthew Green.
Williamson County? Never heard of it. What’s the big deal?
Well, a lot.
Williamson County, Tennessee is what you might call “Republican Heaven.” Just south of Democrat-stronghold Nashville, much of it is a gorgeous suburb, home to the likes of country star Luke Bryan of “American Idol” fame – on an 150 acre estate – and Senator Marsha Blackburn.
Its county seat, Franklin, has a downtown straight out of an updated version of Norman Rockwell, the kind of place you can get both great barbecue and haute cuisine.
That small city and county are growing like crazy in large part because they are also supposed to have one of the best public school systems in the country.