- Mary and Jeremy Cox, who are Catholic, were investigated by Indiana officials for refusing to affirm their son’s transgender identity.
- The couple claimed that doing so would conflict with their religious beliefs, but their then-15-year-old son was taken away by child protective services.
- The expulsion has been upheld in the Indiana Court of Appeals and the couple is asking the Supreme Court to hear their case.
An Indiana couple appealed to the Supreme Court after child protective services removed their son when the parents refused to use his chosen name and pronouns.
Mary and Jeremy Cox, who are Catholic, were investigated by Indiana officials for refusing to affirm their son’s transgender identity because they claimed it conflicted with their Christian beliefs.
“This is what every parent fears,” Mary and Jeremy Cox said before their high-profile legal battle.
Upon completing the state investigation, the Indiana Department of Child Services reportedly determined that the abuse allegations against Mary and Jeremy were unfounded.
However, the state still argued that the disagreement over gender identity was distressing to the child. In 2021, his son was taken and placed in another home when he was around 15 years old.
Mary and Jeremy Cox, who are Catholic, were investigated by Indiana officials for refusing to affirm their son’s transgender identity.
The dismissal has been upheld in the Indiana Court of Appeals and will now go to the Supreme Court.
“Keeping a child away from loving parents because of their religious beliefs, even when the state admits there was no abuse or neglect, is wrong and against the law,” attorney Lord Windham representing the Coxes told Fox News.
“The Court should take up this case and make clear that other states cannot take children away because of ideological disagreements.”
He added: “If this can happen in Indiana, it can happen anywhere.”
The couple’s son reportedly told them he identified as a girl in 2019.
The Coxes refused to refer to the boy by his preferred name and pronouns, citing their religious beliefs in the immutable sex.
DCS received allegations that the girl’s physical and mental condition was in jeopardy because her parents did not refer to her with her preferred pronouns. Reports of alleged verbal and emotional abuse were filed due to the adolescent’s gender identity. They are accusations that the Coxes deny.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office argued that conflict over the girl’s gender identity was not the reason the state separated her from her parents.
“Rather, petitioners’ son was removed because he had a severe eating disorder that petitioners had been unable to effectively address for two years, jeopardizing the child’s brain and bone health,” the attorney general’s office argued.
In 2021, Indiana officials investigated the couple and placed the child in a “gender-affirming” home.
The Coxes took their case to a lower court, where the decision to remove the child and restrict visitation rights was upheld.
Indiana Child Protective Services, supervised by Eric Miller, imposed the separation of the child from his parents.
The Court of Appeals also confirmed the dismissal. The case could now reach the Supreme Court.
“We love our son and wanted to care for him, but the state of Indiana stole that opportunity from us by removing him from our home and prohibiting us from talking to him about gender.”
“We are hopeful that the judges will take our case and protect other parents from having to endure the nightmare we had,” they added.
The Indiana Department of Child Services, led by Eric Miller, said the department “does not comment on ongoing litigation.”