In an apparent violation of a court-issued gag order, a father in a high-profile Texas child custody dispute spread anti-trans rhetoric about his trans child’s “abnormal gender expression” on the right-wing conspiracy theory channel One America News.
Jeff Younger has been part of a custody battle in Texas that was widely publicized by right-wing media and subsequently used as an anti-trans cudgel by prominent conservative leaders, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump Jr.
The custody battle is between Younger and his ex-wife, who disagree about affirming their child’s gender identity. The Daily Beast reported in 2019 that three mental health professionals had diagnosed their child with gender dysphoria and the mother has accepted her as trans. According to court documents from July 2018, Younger “has engaged in increasingly aggressive behavior, including physical force, toward” his former wife and “emotionally abusive behavior toward the child.” Younger’s supporters have also launched an online campaign, fundraiser, and petition, all using the name Younger’s child formerly used (commonly referred to as a deadname).
In October 2019, District Judge Kim Cooks reportedly issued a joint custody ruling that “didn’t require Younger to affirm the child’s identity, and instead ordered the family to undergo therapy and placed a gag order on both parents.”
During the June 2 edition of OAN’s In Focus with Stephanie Hamill, Younger discussed his child’s gender identity at length, then noted, “It's illegal for me to talk to you right now. I'm under a court gag order.” He continued, “I’m not allowed to speak about transgender issues, LGBT issues, whether my son is a boy or girl. … But what I have decided is that in order to protect my son, I'm not following unconstitutional laws or mandates from any government body ever again.”
Notably, Younger has apparently violated his gag order several other times this year. He has discussed his child’s gender identity at a Texas Senate committee hearing, in a campaign video for Texas gubernatorial candidate Don Huffines, with the Flower Mound Area Republicans, on the Courage to Stand podcast, with National File TV, and on the Dad Talk Today podcast.