PFLAG sues Paxton over intrusive data requests

Time for more deep breathing.

A crook any way you look

An LGBTQ advocacy group is suing the Texas attorney general after his agency requested information that the group said would reveal the identities of its members, including those who sought to stay anonymous in recent suits.

The suit, filed Wednesday by PFLAG, argued that the requests violate its members’ right to free speech, to petition and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The group accused Attorney General Ken Paxton of targeting people who have fought new anti-transgender laws in recent cases against the state.

Members of the group have previously sued the state over a new law that bans common medical treatments for transgender youth, as well as transition surgeries, which are rare. Their challenge against the ban, known as SB 14, is pending before the Texas Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs in that case include five families who used pseudonyms to protect their identities.

In the new suit, PFLAG asked a judge to block the request. If not, the group asked the judge to extend the deadline and refine its scope.

“The attorney general’s demand of PFLAG National is just another attempt to scare Texas families with transgender adolescents into abandoning their rights and smacks of retaliation against PFLAG National for standing up for those families against the state’s persecution,” said Karen Loewy, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, which is helping represent PFLAG in the suit. “We will fight to protect them.”


The request focused on information that may show how Texans are accessing transition care after the ban.

For example, in a sworn statement tied to a suit challenging the ban, PFLAG CEO Brian Bond had said that members’ families have been asking the group for “alternative avenues to maintain care in Texas.” The AG’s office requested all documents, meeting minutes and communications pertaining to Bond’s affidavit.

It also asked for any communications with a group of hospitals and clinics in and outside of Texas.

The list includes providers who were issued similar demands from Paxton last year that became public after one of them, Seattle Children’s Hospital, sued to block the request in a case that’s still pending.

The Houston Chronicle reported last month that QueerMed, a Georgia-based telehealth clinic, had also received a demand.

Both were among the list of entities whose communications Texas requested from PFLAG. The others were Texas Children’s Hospital; Baylor College of Medicine; QueerDoc and Plume Health, both telehealth clinics that provide gender transition care.

Bond also mentioned that families had asked his group for help figuring out their “contingency plans” after the ban.

Families were looking for providers “in the event that their primary providers stop providing gender-affirming care or leave the state as a result of SB 14 (Texas’ transition care ban),” Bond said in his affidavit.

The state asked PFLAG for a list of all such providers and any recommendations or referrals the group has made.

See here, here, and here for more on the lawsuit over the ban on gender affirming care, here and here for more on Paxton’s harassment of out of state clinics and hospitals, and here for more on the litigation to stop DFPS investigations into the families of trans kids. Ken Paxton will leave no stone unturned to harass, bully, and torment every one of these people.

I support this litigation and am hoping for the best, but I can’t say I’m very optimistic about it. Ask me again after SCOTx rules on the SB14 lawsuit. We’re going to need some intervention at the federal level because the opportunity to make changes in the state are too far out at this point. It’s going to be bad and it’s going to get worse until then.

I also don’t think you can read this story and not see the parallels with the fight for abortion access and the increasingly despotic attempts to criminalize out of state travel for the purposes of getting abortion care. Ken Paxton and his ilk would like nothing more than to have power over health care providers in other states, to threaten and intimidate them in any way so as to get them to stop providing services they don’t like. As long as he has power, he’s not going to stop trying to achieve that. Texas Public Radio has more.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Legal matters and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to PFLAG sues Paxton over intrusive data requests

  1. C.L. says:

    @Kuff…. It must be mind-numbing and soul-crushing tiresome to continually report on Ken Paxton and his Austin ilk. I cannot think of a State Official more worthy of continued scrutiny, tho, and thank you for the continuous reporting of his unacceptable taxpayer-funded behavior.

  2. Pingback: Three Ken Paxton updates | Off the Kuff

Comments are closed.