Texas father Jeff Younger won the right on Oct. 24 to have joint decision-making authority with his ex-wife concerning medical treatment for their 7-year-old son James.
Younger’s ex-wife, Anne Georgulas, seeks to affirm James’s alleged “gender dysphoria,” which involves James presenting as a girl named “Luna,” while Younger wants to instead take a “wait and see” approach, in case the boy grows out of his condition.
Dallas Judge Kim Cooks granted joint guardianship to Younger and Georgulas, after a jury had voted 11–1 against Younger on Oct. 22 in his bid to obtain sole guardianship of James and his twin brother, Jude.
While Georgulas has accused Younger of child abuse for not treating James as a girl, Younger has accused Georgulas of encouraging James to think of himself as a girl, and provided a video from when James was 3, in which the young boy says his mother had told him he was a girl.
The case has attracted national attention and inspired strong reactions on each side of the issue. Georgulas’s law firm, KoonsFuller, released a statement that reads in part, “My client is being viciously attacked and threatened by complete strangers based on false and untrue statements.”
On Oct. 23, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state’s attorney general’s office and the Department of Family and Protective Services would review the case. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) described the proposed treatment of James as “child abuse.”
Younger is now subject to a gag order from the judge, preventing him from making further statements. In an interview with The Epoch Times prior to the gag order and the Oct. 24 ruling, Younger framed the conflict with Georgulas over his son in a larger context.
“My son doesn’t really know this conflict is going on. James is trying to basically make his parents love him, and he’s doing whatever it takes for his parents to love him. He dresses as a girl because he wants his mother to love him. James is confronted with an ethical challenge. … When he goes to his mother’s home, he is lying. He is struggling with how he is supposed to lie,” Younger said.
“We put up an email from Ms. Georgulas to me in which she contemplates removing the penis from her son. We showed that to the jury. They saw it 20 minutes before they went into deliberations, and when they came out, they voted 11 to 1 against me. What that tells me is that conservatives can no longer rely on a social consensus that basically agrees with traditional family values.
“The two sides in this conflict in America—I used to call them liberals and conservatives, but what are conservatives conserving? There’s nothing left to conserve. They’ve lost every battle with the political left for the last 60 years. It’s a battle between liberals and traditionalists. It’s not a political ideology that is separating us, it’s not superficial beliefs about politics or policies.
“We are leading ontologically different lives, and those differences that we have are fundamentally irreconcilable. There can be no compromise.”