Despite a years-long fight to protect children in Texas, top state officials (including Gov. Greg Abbott) continue to allow medical practitioners to perform disfiguring gender operations on minors—and one key citizen continues calling out the Republicans.

At a January campaign event, Dallas-area father Jeff Younger described the corruption among Republican state lawmakers and his personal interaction with State Rep. Stephanie Klick, a committee chairwoman who blocked a proposed state law last year that would have banned insurance coverage on certain mutilation procedures.

Currently in Texas, medical professionals are permitted to perform “transgender” experiments on children, such as cutting off their healthy body parts or giving them sterilizing cross-sex hormones and puberty blocker drugs.

The overall issue in Texas drew an international spotlight several years ago with the child abuse case of Jeff Younger’s son, James, whose mother told him he was a girl and wanted to force him—against Jeff’s wishes—to take such drugs and eventually be castrated.

Jeff and James’ case became a statewide rallying cry on the issue, with the Republican Party of Texas making it a legislative priority and more than 2 million GOP primary voters supporting a ban on the operations. However, at the state Capitol in Austin last year, top Republican lawmakers—namely, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, Dustin Burrows, and Stephanie Klickrepeatedly killed the effort.

“Let me tell you about my personal meeting with [Klick]. … She found what I was trying to do to protect my son very distasteful,” Jeff told the audience at the campaign event for Army veteran David Lowe, one of four candidates challenging Klick in the March primary election. “She didn’t want me in her office, didn’t let me talk to her staff. So, she decided to meet me in this little private hallway [at the Capitol], back near [Speaker] Phelan’s office, and we had a little stand-up meeting there.”

And I said, “Ma’am, my son is under dire threat right now in a Dallas County court. They have every intention when he turns 9 years old—it’s in his medical records—they want to chemically castrate him and put him on cross-sex hormones, which will sterilize him. He’ll have a micropenis, a toddler’s penis, for the rest of his life.”

“And she turned her back on me and walked away. This is not a person who deserves to be in office.”

Jeff then described his observations of the corrupt game Republican state lawmakers have played with voters for more than two decades, ever since they took control of the state Legislature and the governor’s office.

“We have legislators that will introduce conservative legislation and kill it themselves. They’ll come back and tell you [the voters] that their legislation is conservative and say, ‘See how conservative I am?’ then go to their donors and say, ‘See how liberal I am? I got your [unwanted] bills killed.’ Then they get money from both of them,” Jeff said. “They’ve been doing that for 21 years in this state.”

“But this is what I’ve come to: What [Stephanie Klick] really banks on is that you won’t care,” Jeff concluded. “That when it comes time to vote, you’re gonna forget the technical explanation. You’re gonna forget that here I am pleading for my son’s life, and she walks away from me, won’t look me in the eye, won’t talk to me, won’t have a meeting with me. She’s banking that in the end, you’re not going to care about that. You’re going to care about name recognition; you’re going to care about how much money she has. And I’m going to tell you, that is the path to having the exact same problems in government that you’ve been seeing for 21 years that you hate.”

Notably, in January, Klick received Gov. Abbott’s first state House endorsement, as the establishment attempts to aid her in her upcoming contest

Early voting in the statewide Republican primary election begins on February 14, with Election Day on March 1.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.

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