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Parents' battle over child's gender attracts political attention

Divorced parents can disagree about many things related to their children's upbringing. However, two Texas parents can't agree on the gender of their child. The court battle has attracted the attention of the governor, other Texas politicians and conservative media.

The couple married in 2010 and filed for divorce five years later. The wife later got an annulment based on fraud. She said her husband lied about numerous things, including how many previous marriages he'd had.

The mother says the 7-year-old (who is a twin) is a transgender female. The father says his former wife wants to let the child have puberty blockers and hormone therapy against his wishes.

However, court records show the mother requested that both parents give consent before any treatments that would impact the child's biological gender. Further, the mother (who is a pediatrician) said the child "is not yet at the age where treatment with hormonal expressions, puberty blockers, and/or transgendered reassignment surgery is medically considered."

Although the couple had joint custody of their twins following their annulment, the mother sought sole custody after her former husband refused to allow their child to identify as a girl. Recently, a jury determined that the mother should have sole custody and be allowed to determine whether the child undergoes treatment to help her transition.

However, a Dallas judge ruled that the parents will maintain joint custody. She also forbade either parent from speaking publicly about the case and chastised the father for publicizing it.

He's gained the support of people like Gov. Greg Abbott as well as U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Gov. Abbot asked the attorney general's office to have the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services DFPS) investigate the case.

The letter to DFPS came from First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer, who has called transgender children "Satan's spawn." He told DFPS. "We ask that you open an investigation into this matter as soon as possible and act pursuant to your emergency powers to protect the boy in question [from] permanent and potentially irreversible harm by his mother." The mother has reportedly been receiving death threats.

While this situation is unique, parents can fight just as fiercely over other issues related to their children's lives. Unfortunately, the kids can end up seriously scarred. That's why it's essential to put your children's well-being ahead of your own anger. Otherwise, the courts may have to.

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