2016-08-31 19:16:00

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Jockeying for First Place in Anti-Transgender Discrimination Race

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has reportedly jumped into the legal battle over North Carolina’s discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ law, HB 2. Paxton and 10 other state attorneys general have urged U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder to pause the proceedings of a pending Justice Department challenge to HB 2 so that other cases can be heard and resolved first.

If the proceedings are put on hold in the North Carolina case, it would allow other cases — including Paxton’s own Texas v. U.S. — to be heard by a federal court first and potentially have a significant role in creating legal precedent. Essentially, Paxton is trying to be the first to create anti-transgender legal precedent at the federal court level, allowing him to take first place in the anti-transgender discrimination race.

This action is the latest example of Paxton’s anti-LGBTQ animus, as he continues to criss-cross the country, attempting to legalize discrimination. Recently, Paxton filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulation implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars discrimination in health insurance and by health providers accepting federal funds. The action is aimed at blocking enforcement of a rule clarifying that federal protections barring discrimination based on sex include an individual’s gender identity and covers reproductive health. In practice, this could create hardships for transgender individuals seeking medical care.

In his own state, Paxton has led a sustained, targeted attack on LGBTQ Texans, including filing a federal lawsuit on behalf of Texas and 10 other states that challenges the Departments of Justice and Education’s guidance regarding schools’ obligations to transgender students — the aforementioned Texas v. U.S case.

This year, HRC released a letter signed by national organizations representing almost five million educators, pediatricians, counselors and other child welfare providers urging lawmakers like Paxton to stop their political attacks on transgender youth. These organizations include the American Federation of Teachers; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Counseling Association; the National Association of School Psychologists; and the National Education Association.

Paxton, who currently faces three felony fraud indictments for violating state securities laws and civil fraud charges, has continually attacked his LGBTQ constituents, all in an attempt to cater to his most extreme, anti-equality supporters.