Statement: Paxton’s Latest Political Stunt Comes at the Expense of Transgender Youth and their Families

Feb. 21, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas – After a year of once again pushing for new laws targeted at hurting transgender kids, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today released an interpretation of the law that goes against medical standards and denies children gender-affirming care.

Texas Freedom Network President Val Benavidez issued the following response:

“Gender-affirming care is lifesaving care for transgender youth.

“In a state where we’ve seen attack after attack on the lives of transgender children, Ken Paxton is once again showing his disregard for children’s lives. Transgender people already experience stigma and discrimination, harassment, and violence simply because of who they are. It is abundantly clear that Paxton sees transgender children as nothing more than political pawns. Their safety is certainly not his concern. 

“Paxton asserts that gender-affirming services are “monstrous and tragic.”

“We at Texas Freedom Network assert that the high rates of suicide and depression among LGBTQIA+ youth are monstrous and tragic–rates that are scientifically shown to decrease when transgender youth have access to gender-affirming care.

“Banning transgender children from playing sports is monstrous and tragic. Keeping transgender children from using bathrooms aligning with their gender identity is monstrous and tragic. 

“It is monstrous and tragic that LGBTQIA+ children already in foster care have long been the brunt of the Texas GOP’s crusade against transgender children–starting in 2017, when the language in our state’s Foster Care Bill of Rights was edited to remove all mentions of protections for LGBTQIA+ youth.

“In a state that has categorically ignored the needs of children actually experiencing abuse and neglect, it is deeply offensive for Paxton to pretend he cares for transgender youth, when in reality, he intends to further marginalize transgender youth–a group already overrepresented in the child welfare system. 

“Regardless of opposition from child welfare and medical groups, Paxton and the Texas GOP continue to create barriers and laws that strip transgender children and their families of Civil and Equal Rights.

“If Paxton actually listened to Texans, he would have heard the thousands of children, faith leaders, parents, and community members who spoke up against the harmful GOP-backed bills and actually put kids first.

“Transgender children deserve to grow up. Transgender children deserve gender-affirming care. Transgender children and their families deserve to know that they are safe, loved, and valued by their fellow Texans. 

“Ken Paxton does not speak for every Texan, and we will continue fighting for the children in our state.” 


The Texas Freedom Network ( is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.