Human Rights Campaign Applauds Biden Administration Actions to Protect Trans Youth & Their Families in Texas

by Laurel Powell

Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, welcomes action from the Biden administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) defending the rights of transgender youth and their families in Texas and across the country.

Today’s statement from President Biden and the actions from HHS are a powerful message to transgender youth and their parents who have been demonized, threatened, and traumatized in Texas.

Parents who affirm their transgender kids’ identity do so because it is what is in their child’s best interest. To do otherwise is both dangerous and against the recommendation of a wide range of major child welfare and medical organizations. The politicians who make the unconscionable choice to jeopardize the well-being of those children must not be allowed to succeed. We thank President Biden and HHS for taking necessary steps to help protect some of our most important and vulnerable community members - our children.

JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Policy & Political Affairs

In guidance announced this evening, HHS specified that child welfare agencies have an obligation to protect transgender youth, including with respect to gender affirming care. A second released guidance by HHS states that health care providers are not required to disclose the private information of their patients including information about gender affirming care. HHS also released guidance affirming that it is illegal to deny health care based upon gender identity and laid out steps to file a civil rights complaint with OCR. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra committed to exploring all options to keep children and their families safe.

Data shows that access to medically necessary, age-appropriate gender affirming care has a range of positive impacts on transgender youth, including higher academic achievement and lower rates of depression and anxiety.

Earlier today, HRC released a letter signed by thousands of parents speaking out against actions taken by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as calling attention to the most extreme slate of anti-transgender legislation in history. To access the full letter, or to add your name, please click here.

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