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Anne Hathaway expresses support for transgender community on SXSW red carpet

The Academy Award-winning actress used her platform to make a statement in Austin on Saturday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Actress Anne Hathaway expressed her support for the transgender community on the South by Southwest (SXSW) red carpet in Austin on Saturday.

While attending the premiere of the show she co-stars in with Jared Leto, "WeCrashed," Hathaway made a statement by showing off a purse featuring the transgender flag.

An avid supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, the Academy Award-winning actress has used her platform to speak against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and in support of the community.

In 2012, she and her husband sold their wedding photos and donated the proceeds to organizations working toward marriage equality. And in 2016, she joined a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) petition against Georgia House Bill 757, which allowed religious groups to deny services to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2018, she received the HRC National Equity Award for her work.

Credit: Brittany Flowers

Hathaway's expression in Austin comes as top Texas leaders seek to investigate parents who help their transgender children receive gender-affirming care for child abuse. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued the directive for the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to conduct such investigations last month. 

Abbott's letter to DFPS followed Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion that certain child gender modification procedures should be treated as abuse under the Texas Family Code. 

Then, on March 11, a judge in Travis County issued a temporary injunction on the directive, ruling that the department cannot investigate child abuse claims solely based on gender-affirming care to minors. 

Paxton tweeted soon after the judge's injunction that he would appeal the ruling.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal sued on behalf of a State employee who has a transgender child. They are now seeking to make the temporary injunction a permanent one that encompasses all parents who have transgender children in Texas. 

The move by state leaders to investigate parents of transgender children has drawn the attention of many around the state and outside of it as well. On Friday, the HRC and more than 60 businesses published a letter in the form of a full-page advertisement in the Dallas Morning News calling on Abbott and leaders around the U.S. to stop pursuing policies that charge parents with child abuse if they provide gender-affirming care. 

Companies including Apple, H&M, Meta, SXSW, Google, IBM and many others signed the letter, with the title "Discrimination is Bad for Business," saying that these policies go against "the values of our companies." 

"The recent attempt to criminalize a parent for helping their transgender child access medically necessary, age-appropriate healthcare in the state of Texas goes against the values of our companies," the letter read. "This policy creates fear for employees and their families, especially those with transgender children, who might now be faced with choosing to provide the best possible medical care for their children but risk having those children removed by child protective services for doing so."

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