DALLAS (CN) - A Texas judge awarded joint custody of 7-year-old twins to both parents Thursday in a closely followed gender identity case regarding the mother allowing one of the boys to dress and live as a girl, while the father is firmly opposed.
Dallas County District Judge Kim Cooks granted Anne Georgulas, a pediatrician from Coppell, and Jeffrey Younger, of Flower Mound, joint custody of the children, defying a jury’s 11-1 verdict two days earlier awarding custody to Georgulas.
“The state of Texas has no compelling interest to justify such interference requiring the father to affirm the child and honor the child’s choices,” Cooks said in court.
Cooks ordered family counseling for both parents and children and issued a gag order preventing either parent from speaking to the media.
She ordered that any medical decisions for the twins be made by both parents in agreement. She declined to intervene in any parental decisions over gender identity.
The judge also forcefully pushed back at state lawmakers publicly stating they want an investigation into whether Georgulas sought surgical and chemical treatments to change her son’s gender.
“No Texas judge or Texas court nor the 255th Family Court or any of its judges has ordered the chemical castration, puberty blockers, hormone blockers or any transgender reassignment surgery on this child to become a female,” Cooks said.
She also criticized both parents for their actions in the dispute, reminding Georgulas of her testimony that she may have “over-affirmed” the child’s female identity. Younger claims the child has identified as a girl since he was 3 years old.
The judge blasted Younger for launching a crowdfunding webpage asking for donations and for speaking to a conservative media outlet in his home to publicize the case.
“The father finds comfort in public controversy and attention surrounding by his use of unfounded facts and is motivated by financial gain of approximately $139,000 to which he has received at the cost of the protection and privacy of his children,” Cooks said.
Younger claims he has incurred “roughly $250,000” in legal fees so far. He told reporters outside the courtroom before the hearing that he will appeal no matter what the ruling is.
“He is enrolled in school under a fake girl’s name, and his teachers and everyone say he is a girl,” Younger said. “With me, when I have possession time now, he will present as a boy.”
Neither parent commented on the judge’s ruling afterward.Follow @davejourno
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