Here’s the story:
Divorced parents Jeffrey Younger and Anne Georgulas have been at odds over the treatment of their seven year old son, whom his mother insists is transgender and wishes to live as a girl, and whose father insists that, during the boy’s visitation periods to his father’s home, is perfectly happy being dressed as a boy, being called his birth name, and engaging in “boy” play, roughhousing, etc., with his twin brother. As Life Site News has been reporting, even the expert witnesses hired by the mother could not state with certainty that the child was transgender:
The expert witnesses, all of whom were paid by Georgulas to testify, and the state agency representatives admitted that James does not identify with only one gender.
Dr. Albritton told the court, “There is still some fluidity in his [James’] thinking.”
Ms. Zilca, from Dallas County Family Services, refused to call James by anything other than “Luna.” She told the court, “She [James] does not identify with only one gender.”
James’ counselor Ms. Ouer – who specializes in working with the “LGBT community” – told the court that gender fluidity means something different for each person. She also stated that James may not be transgender despite her having diagnosed him with gender dysphoria since there is some fluidity in his expression.
The father’s focus has been on emphasizing the risks and potential harm done to the boy by proceeding to puberty blockers and ultimately cross-sex hormones; at the same time, Life Site News reported that “Expert witness in trial of 7-year-old’s ‘transition’ downplays dangers of cross-sex hormone therapy” and that
Attorneys for the mother trying to force her ex-husband to go along with the gender “transition” she seeks for their seven-year-old son said in court yesterday the case is about parenting, not “gender transitioning.”
Anne Georgulas, a pediatrician, has been telling her son James he’s a girl since he was three. She and her ex-husband, Jeffery Younger, are in court this week as Georgulas seeks complete control over decision-making ability for James and his twin, Jude.
Georgulas’ attorneys, Jessica Janicek and Laura Hayes, argued that Younger is “insensitive, narcissistic, controlling, [and] unstable,” and that he refuses to follow the court’s orders. Meanwhile, Georgulas is “sensitive” and “empathetic,” and provides her son – whom she enrolled in kindergarten as a girl named “Luna” – a stable, loving environment while following court orders, they claimed.
All of which led to a jury decision yesterday:
With a consensus of 11 of the 12 jurors, the jury decided not to grant Mr. Younger Sole Managing Conservatorship over his two twin boys. They voted that the current Joint Managing Conservatorship should be replaced by a Sole Managing Conservatorship, but that Mr. Younger should not be that person. Judge Kim Cooks will read her ruling on possession, child support, and Dr. Georgulas’ other requests at 1:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday.
Now the whole thing is a bit convoluted, as there are remaining questions that a judge will decide, including visitation (the mother is seeking for the father’s visits to be limited and supervised) and child support, and this is slated for tomorrow.
But here’s the challenge: what does it mean that the jury found in favor of the mother?
Typically these “miscarriage of justice” situations are a matter of a single leftist judge or some crusading leftist politicians or bureaucrats. Here that’s not so. It was 11 out of 12 jury members. So there are, it seems to me, two possible explanations:First, is it “not the jury’s fault” for one reason or another? Did the judge limit the evidence and expert testimony that the jury was allowed to hear? Was the deck stacked against Mr. Younger by rejecting witnesses testifying as to the risks of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, or the degree to which the child felt compelled to “be” a girl to please his mother or didn’t understand that a desire to play-act in dresses would cause adults to set him on this path? Did the mother’s prior “doctor-shopping” of pro-transition experts who were then deemed to have a relationship with the child doom Younger’s chances? Were witnesses testifying to the boy’s comfort level “presenting” as a boy likewise rejected? Did experts deceive the jury by means of claims that puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones were only a remote possibility rather than the likely path, when they themselves believe otherwise? Was the jury given instructions on how to apply the law that boxed them into finding in favor of the mother?
Or, second, is there simply more to the story? Were there issues with Younger’s behavior that Life Site News and other sites supportive of the father aren’t reporting because it would make him less sympathetic? Is it expected that the judge will mandate a middle path in which the mother will have custody but not the ability to unilaterally begin hormone/drug administration?
This is what is frustrating:
it is possible that the outrage simply isn’t justified, that we, as outsiders, don’t know the full story, that what seems to be a horrific path towards routinizing sterilization, hormones, and surgery for teens who need counseling, instead, in furtherance of an ideology that activists prioritize over the actual well-being of children, is really exaggerated by people with the opposite agenda. It is possible that in many such instances, the outrage isn’t justified, that there is more to the story. But at the same time, if we say, “I won’t let myself get taken in by the outrage machine; they’re just crying wolf” — well, what if outrage machine is right and the desire to withhold judgement means that by the time we realize this, it’s too late?
After all, remember back in the day when all the Smart People said that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was sufficient and it was really quite unnecessary to promote a constitutional amendment to prevent an eventual mandate of gay marriage? And remember when fears of mandatory affirmation of gay marriage were likewise deemed overblown because of course freedom of religion would be protected? — And now we have mandates that service providers provide their services and a threat that religious groups which do not affirm gay marriage will have their nonprofit status removed. (Incidental gripe: this is not just about whether or not donations are tax-deductible. This is about whether these organizations are themselves liable for tax, whether it be for their income or property tax on the property. The German heritage society where my kids attended German School for many years was constantly fundraising just to pay their property taxes until, it seems to me, they finally managed to get reclassified as a charity, perhaps because their membership had aged enough that they could claim they were providing social services to the elderly.)
So, readers, how do you find that balance?