The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services removed support resources for LGBTQ+ youth, including a link to a suicide prevention hotline, from its website in August, reportedly in response to criticism from Don Huffines, a conservative who is running in the Texas gubernatorial primary to unseat Governor Greg Abbott, per the Houston Chronicle.
The Houston Chronicle found that a “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” webpage that provided support to LGBTQ+ teenagers in the Texas foster care system was removed from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’s website shortly after Hufflines said that “Governor Abbott’s political appointees…are promoting transgender sexual policies to Texas youth” in an August 31 video posted to Twitter.
Despite Hufflines’ claims, Abbott’s administration has been consistent in fighting legal protections of LGBTQ+ individuals: as the Texas Tribune reported, Abbott instructed the director of the Department of Family Protective Services to investigate whether gender confirmation surgeries constitutes child abuse according to existing state law in August.
Following in Abbott’s footsteps, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration in September over federal protection of transgender people in the workplace, according to the Tribune.
The LGBTQ+ webpage is still down, and a spokesperson for the agency declined to comment to the Houston Chronicle on why it was taken down.
Representatives from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Abbott’s office have not yet responded to a request for comment from Forbes.
4 times. LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely than their peers to seriously consider suicide, according to the Trevor Project.
National Coming Out Day was Monday, and President Joe Biden marked the occasion by condemning anti-LGBTQ+ laws in state legislatures and bullying of “young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color” for in a Monday statement. Biden also called for the passing of the Equality Act, which would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation gender identity.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.