Texas AG Paxton denounces decision to drop charges against transgender rights protester

The Texas Attorney General is getting involved in the debate over transgender rights and gender-affirming care in Texas, this coming after demonstrations at the State Capitol were held on Tuesday while the House debated a ban on transgender youth healthcare.

Texas AG Ken Paxton released a statement May 5 criticizing Travis County District Attorney José Garza for dropping charges filed against a transgender rights activist who was arrested at the Capitol on May 2 during the demonstrations.

The activist had been charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and disturbing a public meeting, according to Paxton's statement.

"Within hours, Travis County District Attorney José Garza dropped the charges," Paxton's statement said. "José Garza is a rogue District Attorney who is endangering the safety of law enforcement officers by signaling that violence against them will not be punished as long as an assailant shares Garza's extremist political views."

Later in the statement, Paxton encouraged lawmakers to "act swiftly to rein in rogue prosecutors like Mr. Garza to protect the public," and that the Texas House should "demonstrate that they will not be intimidated and immediately pass Senate Bill 14 to ban acts of child abuse such as so-called ‘gender transitioning’ surgical procedures and prescribing puberty-blocking drugs for minors."

The Travis County District Attorney's Office responded to the allegations in a release made Friday morning. According to the release, a Magistrate Judge determined that the felony arrest made at the Capitol demonstrations lacked probable cause and rejected the charge, and the Travis County District Attorney's Office had no involvement in the case.

"This is yet another example of state leadership commenting on a criminal case in Travis County and getting the facts wrong," Garza said in a statement. "The Texas Attorney General is currently under felony indictment and under a federal criminal investigation. He should focus on his own legal troubles instead of interfering in the Travis County criminal process."


Paxton has been a vocal opponent of allowing transgender youth healthcare in Texas. On Friday he announced an investigation into Dell Children's Medical Center to see whether gender-affirming healthcare was "unlawfully" performed on minor children.