Earlier this week Texas Governor Greg Abbott bowed to a political opponent and had a web page containing suicide prevention information for LGBTQ+ youth taken down. A part of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services site, the page was found offensive by Don Huffines, one of Abbott’s primary conservative challengers.
“These are not Texas values,” Huffines said in a Twitter video he posted in August wherein he accused the site of promoting transgender ideology. “These are not Republican Party values. But these are obviously Greg Abbott’s values.”
Apparently, eager to please and prove he is, in fact, a good homophobe, Abbott had it taken down. In addition, the Texas Youth Connection, a program of Family and Protective Services that points young people in Foster Care to resources found on the LGBTQ+ page, also had their site taken down.
Huffines gloated over his victory in a post earlier this week.
“I told Texans I would get this DFPS website taken down and stop Greg Abbott from using our tax dollars to promote transgender ideology,” he wrote.
National LGBTQ+ organizations are concerned about this removal. In an Advocate article, The Trevor Project Executive Director Amit Paley said this is a crisis: “The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors have been hearing from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas who are scared and worried about anti-trans laws being debated in their state — and some have even expressed suicidal thoughts.”
Zoe Russick Steinfield, the behavioral health program manager and licensed MSW (Master’s of Social Work) at Affirmations, spoke on the issue. She says this sends a message that some people don’t think LGBTQ+ youth are “worthy of care, support, or even of life in Texas.”
“It disgusts me that someone would make or cave to such a demand — to remove information about a lifesaving resource — for cheap political points,” Steinfield said. “If I were Texan, I’d sure be embarrassed to hear people call cruelty toward children a Texas value. I think it’s important that the youth are hearing a different message from others loud and clear, that they are valued and loved exactly as they are.”
I told Texans I would get this DFPS website taken down and stop Greg Abbott from using our tax dollars to promote transgender ideology.
We’re just getting started. https://t.co/v6zcXhc0dN
— Don Huffines (@DonHuffines) October 12, 2021