AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas mother of an 8-year-old transgender boy says she had some unlikely company over for dinner: the state’s Republican attorney general, who is suing over Obama administration efforts to expand transgender rights.
Amber Briggle said Friday that Ken Paxton and his wife, Angela, spent nearly two hours at their Denton house this week having dinner with her husband, their 4-year-old daughter and MG, her transgender son who Briggle had invited the attorney general to meet.
Briggle, 39, has become an outspoken and harsh critic of Paxton since he led a 13-state lawsuit over an Obama administration directive handed down in May, which told U.S. public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom and locker room consistent with their gender identity. A federal judge sided with Paxton last month and put that directive on hold for now.
Briggle said Paxton swapped jokes and magic tricks with MG, and told the family that he seemed like a good kid. She said the dinner mostly stayed away from politics but that she did convey how the lawsuits Paxton was pursuing was putting her son in danger.
Paxton was polite but did not commit to making any changes, Briggle said.
“I’m hopeful that it will make him think twice. Time will tell,” Briggle said in a phone interview. “I would be personally hurt if he continued to pursue these discriminatory policies after meeting and seeing our child. This isn’t dressup. This isn’t Halloween. He’s a real boy with real feelings who will be really affected.”
A Paxton spokesman didn’t return an email seeking comment.
In May, Paxton said that he did not meet with any parents of transgender students before filing the lawsuit over the school directive. He has called his opposition a matter of safety and privacy for other children, and in his lawsuit accused the Obama administration of turning classrooms “into laboratories for a massive social experiment.”
Briggle said there was no awkwardness at the dinner despite their differences.
“It was lovely,” she said. “Our intention was just to put a human face behind this.”
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