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Religious Right Groups Oppose Protections for Transgender Inmates in Texas Prison

The third-largest county jail in the nation, located in Harris County, Texas, recently adopted a new policy to protect transgender prisoners.

Transgender people will be housed according to their gender identity and addressed by their chosen name while locked up in the Harris County jail.

“It represents a significant step forward,” Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy for the National Center for Transgender Equality told the Associated Press. “This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue of preventing violence, of meeting the state’s legal and moral responsibilities to keep people safe and safeguarding public funds that when sexual abuse happens in prison need to be spent on medical care and mental health care and recovery.”

However, not everyone is pleased by this new security measure. The Christian-based American Family Association and Eagle Forum oppose the new guidelines to keep transgender prisoners safe.

Texas Eagle Forum president Cathie Adams claims Houston needs a better role model than its lesbian mayor Annise Parker.

"Not a person who is going to leave them more vulnerable to abuse," Adams told "And I'm very sorry to say, I think that is exactly what this policy will do, not just in the prison but of course it will eke into the community and set up a very tragic situation.", owned by the American Family Association, also claims, "The mental health field has an excellent track record in treating transgendered people to conform to their biological gender. So Adams wonders why, if Houston wants to help jail inmates, they don't offer counseling instead of affirming their gender confusion."

However, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have stated that so-called "ex-gay" reparative therapy does not work.

Sources: American Medical Association, American Psychological Association,, Associated Press


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