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Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke Poses in Shirt Supporting Trans Kids

Beto O'Rourke

The former presidential candidate is running for governor against GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, who recently ordered the investigation of some parents of trans children who had access to gender-affirming care.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate posted an image of himself wearing a shirt that says "Don't Mess With Trans Kids" on Transgender Day of Visibility.

The shirt is part of a fundraising effort to support LGBTQ+ rights group Equality Texas. It's a play on the popular phrase "Don't Mess With Texas."

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state's Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents of trans and nonbinary students over certain gender-affirming care as possible "child abuse." That directive has been blocked by a judge for the time being.

Abbot gave the order after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion terming gender-affirming care "child abuse."

The governor's accusations of "child abuse" have drawn outrage from parents of transgender children, activists, businesses, and celebrities. Texas legislators last year considered a bill to this effect, but it failed to pass.

O'Rourke, who is a former Texas congressman, also posted a video that the campaign previously released in support of trans rights in the state.

In the post, the former U.S. Senate and presidential candidate said, "I will always fight alongside you to ensure that you're able to live freely as yourself, free from attacks and discrimination."

The video shows a nonbinary teen asking O'Rourke about their right to gender-affirming care.

O'Rourke responds to the student, saying, "We speak about everyone in this state with pride. We talk about a Texas that is big enough for all of us. We target no one based on any difference between us whether it is the color of your skin, your country of national origin, or the fact that you are nonbinary. I think you're amazing. I'm proud of you. I want you to do great things in this state."

Abbott, who is seeking a third term in office, will face O'Rourke in the November 8 election.

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