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‘People won’t allow this to happen to children’: How pro-family media helped save James Younger

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UPDATE, October 29, 2019: This report has been updated to include additional comments from Focus on the Family.

DALLAS, October 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Concerned onlookers breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when Judge Kim Cooks ruled that Texas mother Dr. Anne Georgulas could not “transition” her 7-year-old son James without the consent of his father Jeffrey Younger. While the problem is not fully resolved, the outcome of the case would likely have been far different without conservative and pro-family media raising awareness.

For more than a year, the divorced couple has been locked in a legal battle over their son, with Georgulas accusing Younger of child abuse for refusing to treat his son as a girl named “Luna.” His mother has also discussed subjecting James to "hormone suppression" between ages eight and nine, despite Mr. Younger’s insistence that his son prefers to remain a boy.

The case largely flew below the national radar until this month, when on-the-ground reporting from LifeSiteNews and The Texan highlighted witness testimony over custody. National passions were truly inflamed on Monday, when the jury ruled 11-1 to revoke the parents’ Joint Managing Conservatorship over their children and instead grant full decision-making authority to Georgulas, despite her stated interest in exploring chemical castration for a prepubescent child.

LifeSiteNews’ coverage was picked up by various conservative and pro-family media outlets, with Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh devoting multiple columns and countless tweets to the case. Thanks in large part to his efforts, the hashtag #ProtectJamesYounger went trending with more than 41,000 tweets in less than a day.

The trial itself remained largely ignored by the national press (with the exceptions of LifeSiteNews and The Texan), but coverage spread to National Review, First Things, Breitbart, The Federalist, and elsewhere, with numerous national figures including presidential son Donald Trump Jr. speaking out. Petitions at LifeSiteNews and Change.org collected hundreds of thousands of signatures.

The pressure campaign appears to have rankled Judge Cooks, who delayed reading her final ruling from Wednesday to Thursday. The elected jurist barred journalists without “hard card” press passes from the courtroom, but ultimately granted Jeffrey Younger joint conservatorship, allowing him a say over any future gender-related decisions for James. She also issued a gag order against both parents discussing the case in the media.

Before Thursday’s ruling and gag order were issued, Mr. Younger told LifeSiteNews he was not surprised by the strong outpouring of support, having predicted at the outset that “I don’t believe Texans will allow this to happen to children” and that the case had the “potential to create massive social unrest, because people will not allow this to happen to children.” So “I was not surprised at all that Americans stood up for my son, because that’s what Americans do,” he added.

Walsh predicted that the story would resonate with the public at large, and credited the positive outcome in part on conservative persistence in raising awareness:

“When you punch this movement in the face, you'll notice its support is a mile wide and an inch deep,” Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz agreed, stressing that “it’s not that the world went crazy in a matter of 10 years,” but rather that social media helped magnify and exaggerate forms of radicalism like transgender ideology. “But if you just punch it right in the face, you’ll have a jailbreak and people will start speaking out.” 

Still, the broader issue of forcibly-transitioning children remains unresolved. Jeffrey Younger and many observers have called for surgical and chemical castration of minors to be banned at the state legislative level, and Texas leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, have said the Younger case should and will be investigated.

Lawmaker should first "make it illegal to medically intervene with drugs, hormones and surgery to 'transition' minors to live as if they were the opposite sex," Focus on the Family 's Culture and Policy Analyst Jeff Johnston told LifeSiteNews. "Second, they should overturn bans on therapy, imposed by some cities and states, that would help gender-confused children resolve factors that could be leading to their confusion."

"Finally, politicians and government agencies should stop requiring that educators teach children a false and confusing gender ideology," he continued. "Children as young as kindergarten are being told there are a multitude of genders and that a boy might really be a girl on the inside – or vice versa. It’s no wonder that we’re seeing a rapid increase in children with gender confusion, given this push in education, and these legislative mandates should be overturned.”

Follow all LifeSiteNews coverage of the James Younger case here.

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