Let Trans People Live

Court blocks Texas AG from accessing private information about trans youth…again

A district court has once again blocked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from his attempted seizure of documents identifying trans youth. These documents, held by PFLAG National, include information about families seeking gender-affirming care — along with their names and addresses.

Paxton is the architect of one the nation’s earliest and most vicious attacks on trans youth and their families. In early 2022, Paxton issued an opinion labeling gender affirming care as child abuse, leading Governor Greg Abbott to direct Family and Protective Services to investigate the parents of trans youth as child abusers. The District Court for Travis County subsequently issued an injunction preventing these investigations.

Later that summer, Paxton solicited the Department of Public Safety (which handles driver’s licenses in the state) for a list of changes to gender markers — a serious breach of privacy for trans adults. The DPS advised that the information “could not be accurately reproduced.”

Since then, Paxton has gone after PFLAG National, demanding that the advocacy group reveal “complete names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, jobs, home addresses, telephone numbers, [and] email addresses,” according to PFLAG’s CEO Brian Bond.

PFLAG filed a lawsuit through the ACLU Texas, Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center, and the Arnold and Porter law firm to prevent Paxton from accessing this private information. The Travis County District Court subsequently issued a restraining order that was due to expire on Friday. On Monday, the court extended that order with a temporary injunction.

“PFLAG families in Texas gained further protection today, when the court reaffirmed that the Attorney General can’t two-step around the law with an outrageous demand for private information,” Bond said in a press release. “Trans youth and their loved ones deserve better, and we will continue to fight to protect our families, because loving your LGBTQ+ kid is always the right thing to do.”

“The court appreciated the burden that the threat of the attorney general’s demands imposed on PFLAG National and its Texas members and quite properly concluded they warranted protection as we pursue our challenge in court,” Karen Loewy, senior counsel at Lambda Legal said. “We applaud the court’s decision. Texas families need to know they can continue to support their transgender children without fear of retaliation.”

While the temporary injunction effectively blocks the AG’s request for the duration of the lawsuit, Paxton may file an appeal to the injunction.

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