A judge has ruled that a U.S. father may retain joint custody of his 7-year-old son whom his ex-wife says is transgender.
Hundreds of thousands of people had expressed their outrage after a jury decided Jeffrey Younger should lose custody of his son James because he disagrees with the mother, who encourages him to dress like a girl.
James voluntarily dresses as a boy when he lives with his father. His twin brother Jude has also expressed his confusion at how James could possibly be a girl.
Mr. Younger, from Dallas, Texas, had hoped to gain full custody of his children, as he is concerned his ex-wife's attempts to make James transition will leave him infertile, despite the boy's wishes to one day have children.
The court initially ruled against the father and granted full custody to the mother, but a judge now says they must share joint responsibilities.
They will now have to make joint decisions on medical treatments for James, including whether to start him on puberty blockers and eventually cross-sex hormones.
They must also decide together on issues such as haircuts and psychiatric care.
The jury's earlier ruling would have required Mr. Younger to treat James as a girl and call him "Luna"—the mother's chosen name for him.
They also said the father would have to take a class on transgenderism and pay for any treatments James may have, despite his objections.
In response, more than 220,000 people signed a petition calling on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to step in.
Abbott said the Texas attorney general's office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services were looking into the case.
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