Child Abuse & Libertarianism: The Transgender Case of James Younger
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Child Abuse & Libertarianism: The Transgender Case of James Younger

Seven-year-old James Younger is trapped. Whether he’s a girl stuck in a boy’s body or just in a gut-wrenching custody battle is largely up to a judge. But he’s trapped all the same in a society that now bears responsibility for the protection of children it has made all too vulnerable.

A stateless society, libertarians promise, would provide better security and prosperity than a statist order could. But, what about the children, a common refrain goes.

Children’s rights and parental rights are challenging areas of debate for any social order, but the most difficult scenario of all might be something like what is going on with James Younger, a 7-year-old twin boy whose father and mother are fighting over him and his gender identity.

It’s been in the news lately that a Dallas jury decided 11-1 against the father Jeffrey Younger, who petitioned for custody (technically sole managing conservatorship) of his boys James and Jude. A judge is set to decide very soon exactly how custody will be worked out with the mother Anne Georgulas, who claims James is transgender and has expressed support for puberty blocking invasive treatments.

Georgulas, a pediatrician, also is demanding Jeffrey refer to his son as a girl named “Luna” and not allow the boy around any people or relatives who don’t support the gender transition.

What is the libertarian solution to this problem? First, as almost always, the principle of subsidiarity applies. Those closest to the matter with the most knowledge and skin in the game are probably better to call upon than anyone else. But on another level, the society-at-large must closely watch these proceedings and consider the conditions leading up to whatever ramifications come about.

Clearly, the child is the victim par excellence here. If the rightful parent loses custody, the child suffers more than that parent. The libertarian’s concern for justice lies with the child most of all, as he bears no responsibility for his environment. But justice is not always produced by people in black robes.

If justice means preventing a prepubescent child from suffering the irreversible costs of cross-sex hormone therapy, it is quite possible the judge will act unjustly in accordance with the current day’s appetite for political correctness.

Disobedience of an unjust ruling is a libertarian virtue, one that may be necessary to pursue if that happened. Vigilante justice shouldn’t be necessary, and hopefully, the father wouldn’t be so desperate as to stow the kid away on a plane to Russia, as some have suggested

However, a more sensible solution is possible through a sanctuary like a church or other center of civic community. The father’s church has come out with a general statement against transitioning genders of prepubescent children. It could be a logical next step that his church offers him and his son refuge as a last resort, although it would be unprecedented in this narrow issue.

Whatever happens to James Younger, he won’t be the last child to experience something like this. There is only so much that a random individual can do regarding this case, and some are organizing protests and fundraisers. But libertarians ought to take a special interest in matters like this, because the future of parental rights, children’s rights and the moral character of society as a whole is anything but certain.

Comment section

3 thoughts on “Child Abuse & Libertarianism: The Transgender Case of James Younger

  1. This situation does illustrate that we need SOME government, in this case, a righteous judge that rules that one “parent” (it wasn’t her egg) doesn’t have a right to mutilate the child. Anarchy isn’t workable, and would lead to widespread violence. This report is fairly even handed, and I was pleasantly surprised. Children ARE vulnerable. They need a government and social system that will protect them. Given widespread medical kidnapping by government goons, it is obvious we don’t have this. But it is truly what we need, and hopefully we can go back there. Hopefully, it’s not too late. I like the idea of the church being the sanctuary. We need this. It should be the church that cares for the needy, not the government. Libertarians should make this demand widely known. God deserves the glory, not politicians who buy votes with taxpayer money. By the way, what are you doing using Google to verify I’m not a robot? They’re part of the problem, a SERIOUS part. There are other ways to verify.

  2. I agree that libertarians have a unique position on this topic.

    As a Christian libertarian, this topic has been one of my interests for years. One concerning correlation is between transgender youth and high suicide rates and how to reduce this.

    Three years ago, I (@PeacefulConserv) tweeted out a link (https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/number-50-fall-2016) to an article written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer and Dr. Paul R. McHugh. “The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex. More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.”

    When I promoted this article, it resulted in my account becoming ineligible to run Twitter Ads. Twitter has said: “We have determined that the following Tweet [contains] Hateful Content”.

    Libertarians are always willing to allow all sides to be discussed. That this topic is being shut down by Twitter is alarming, especially because it is written by respected professionals. This topic may lead to more government oversight of social media, which is an important issue to libertarians, along with the rights of children and parents.

  3. One unfortunate aspect of transgender-related disputes is the difficulty of even writing about them without implicitly taking sides, given the need in ordinary English to use gendered pronouns in referring to people. For instance, this article refers to the child at the center of the dispute as “he”. Using either “he” or “she” in such a case ends up “begging the question” with regard to the matter being disputed.

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