TERF WARS: Texas AG doubles down on attacks against the LGBTQ community
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is going all in on his attack on the LGBTQ community.
The Republican has switched his focus from transgender children to adults, by attempting to create a database of all Texas residents who’ve changed their gender in the past two years.
How? By accessing their driver’s license information.
A month after the Texas Supreme Court shot down Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott’s directive in May of this year to investigate parents of transgender teens for child abuse, the corrupt AG changed course.
According to The Washington Post, a document titled “AG Request Sex Change Data,” was sent to the Department of Public Safety.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the news outlet revealed communications between the Chief of the department and employees on the request.
“Need total number of changes from male to female and female to male for the last 24 months, broken down by month. We won’t need DL/ID numbers at first but may need to have them later if we are required to manually look up documents.”
Though over 16,000 records were retrieved, agency officials stated they’d need to do a manual confirmation to determine the precise reasons for the changes.
LGBTQ advocacy groups are concerned that the request could be used to further marginalize transgender adults and block access to life-saving gender-affirming treatment, “outing” those already subject to discrimination and harassment simply wanting to exist without fear.
Shelly Skeen, a Dallas-based attorney working for LGBTQ rights group Lambda Legal, condemned the AG’s request.
Skeen called it a “gross violation of privacy,” saying the state prosecutor’s actions “target one group of people to fire up their base while transgender people are just trying to live their lives,” The Washington Post reported.
“The constitutional issues that this raises are equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment as well as discrimination based on sex. If you do not have access to identity documents that match who you are, you are outed every time you show an ID,” Skeen said, “and this is what leads to the discrimination, harassment and violence that transgender people face.”
Paxton’s office has denied making the request, deflecting from the indicted state prosecutor’s documented request in an attempt to gaslight those inquiring into the department’s overreach.
But it doesn’t end there.
On Monday, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit with the state’s highest court to throw out the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity rule prohibiting discriminating against same-sex couples seeking to adopt or become foster parents.
According to Paxton, the Obama-era law is a part of a “radical woke agenda.”
“There are so many vital religious institutions in Texas and around the country that can aid in making sure foster children are protected and able to find good homes,” Paxton said.
“The SOGI Rule would force them either to adopt a radical woke agenda or surrender their mission of helping children,” Hogan Gore of the Austin American-Statesman wrote.
Just filed yet another Biden Lawsuit. https://t.co/SIEVBlgOlB
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) December 12, 2022
Ken Paxton has filed *another* lawsuit against a Biden policy (here, an HHS rule barring recipients of federal funding for foster care/adoption services from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, or same-sex marriage status):https://t.co/Qxvl2C9RsS
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 12, 2022
Curiously, or not, the Attorney General chose to file the complaint, not in his home jurisdiction of Austin, but in the south Texas city of Galveston, where Trump-appointed Judge Jeffrey Brown handles cases–something that has not gone unnoticed.
An Amicus brief filed by legal professor Steve Vladeck with the Supreme Court of the United States accuses the Republican-controlled state of judge shopping – intentionally avoiding filing in a jurisdiction overseen by a Democratic-appointed judge in the hopes of getting a favorable decision that pushes their conservative political agenda.
“The State of Texas has spent the duration of the current presidency litigating against virtually any policy with which Texas’s Governor or Attorney General disagree,” Vladeck wrote in the complaint.”
Vladeck’s brief also alleges that the state of Texas has intentionally abused the federal government by filing, almost exclusively, in district courts overseen by judges appointed during Republican presidencies.
Under federal indictment for securities fraud, Attorney General Paxton has weaponized his position as a way to punish those with whom he disagrees.
The crooked politician was the author of an Amicus brief against certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, which was signed onto by dozens of GOP members.
The bad faith actor continues to waste taxpayer money and the court’s time with bigoted and frivolous lawsuits aimed at doing little more than further discriminating against marginalized communities.
The Department of Public Safety didn’t follow through with the AG’s request.
“A verbal request was received,” DPS spokesman Travis Considine wrote in an email.
“Ultimately, our team advised the AG’s office the data requested neither exists nor could be accurately produced. Thus, no data of any kind was provided.”
Original reporting by Molly Hennessey-Fisk at The Washington Post.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick
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