Fighting Back

Texas Attorney General demands PFLAG reveal identities of trans members

The Texas Attorney General is on a hunt for transgender Texans and forcing PFLAG to help him.

On February 5, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is demanding information on the identities of PFLAG National’s trans Texas members, their doctors, and PFLAG’s contingency plans against the state’s anti-trans legislation. Now, PFLAG is fighting back in a new lawsuit to block Paxton’s investigation. PFLAG described Attorney General Paxton’s demands in the filing as “retaliation” for opposing Texas’ introduction of anti-trans laws.

Recent Texas legislation, SB14, would ban gender-affirming care in the state. Paxton is demanding that PFLAG’s CEO, Brian Bond, relinquish “complete names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, jobs, home addresses, telephone numbers, [and] email addresses” of trans youth members in Texas. The ruling also requires Bond to give over medical care documents, communications, out-of-state hospital information, and insight on the members’ contingency plans used to navigate potential gender-affirming care bans.

“This mean-spirited demand from the Attorney General’s Office is petty and invasive, which is why we want the court to put an end to it,” said Bond. “Across races, places, and genders, our families and communities are stronger when we are free to come together. PFLAG National, our chapters, and our entire community will continue leading with love as we have for the last five decades, providing support, education and advocacy to ensure every LGBTQ+ person in Texas and beyond is safe, celebrated, empowered, and loved.”

This is Paxton’s second attempt to identify trans Texans, as PFLAG’s filing points out that the Attorney General previously sought out a list of individuals who changed their gender marker on their state driver’s license. Additionally, PFLAG alleged in their lawsuit that Paxton’s demands are “overly broad” and violate their 1,500 Texas members rights, according to both the United States and Texas constitutions. With legal representation from the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas, The Transgender Law Center, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, and Lambda Legal, PFLAG is working to ensure the identities and rights of trans Texans stay protected.

“Paxton would retaliate against PFLAG… the families can’t defend themselves,” Mandy Giles, founder of Parents of Trans Youth and former PFLAG Houston president, said. “They are too scared to be visible. They can’t fight back, they can’t fight for their kids, they can’t fight for themselves, or their trans loved ones. When PFLAG stepped up to help, it was a saving grace. To have them be attacked this way feels like we all are getting attacked.”

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