PFLAG wins injunction against Paxton’s intrusive data requests

From the inbox, as I have not seen any news stories about this yet:

The Travis County District Court today granted a temporary injunction blocking the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s latest effort targeting transgender Texans — its demand that PFLAG National turn over information and documents about the organization’s support of families in Texas seeking gender-affirming medical care for their transgender youth.

“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,” said Brian K. Bond (he/him), CEO of PFLAG National. “PFLAG National will continue to fight to protect our families, because trans youth and their loved ones deserve better, and loving your LGBTQ+ kid is always the right thing to do.”

The organizations Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the ACLU, Transgender Law Center, and Arnold & Porter, who earlier secured a temporary restraining order on PFLAG National’s behalf, this past Monday asked the court to issue an injunction blocking the Attorney General’s investigative demands while the legal advocates pursue their challenge in court. The court agreed and issued the order upon completion of the hearing.

“PFLAG National has consistently protected Texas families with transgender youth in the face of the State’s persecution,” said Chloe Kempf (she/her), attorney with the ACLU of Texas. “This court ruling is a critical step in allowing PFLAG National and its members to join together and advocate for each other, free from the threat of the attorney general’s retaliation and intimidation. But we know that this isn’t over, and Texans of all races, genders, and backgrounds must be able to continue to engage in civil society to advocate for their safety, equality, and constitutional rights.”

“We’re so thankful the court saw through this transparent abuse of power by the Office of the Attorney General,” said Elizabeth Gill (she/her), staff attorney for the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “The directives sent to PFLAG are baseless intimidation tactics, clearly aimed at silencing protected speech and preventing the organization from advocating on behalf of families with transgender youth. We remain committed to ensuring the right of PFLAG and its Texas membership remain protected.”

“While the current TRO protected PFLAG National and its Texas member families, the threat from the Attorney General’s outrageous demands continued to loom,” said Karen Loewy (she/her), senior counsel and director of constitutional law practice at Lambda Legal. “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. We applaud the court’s decision. Texas families need to know they can continue to support their transgender children without fear of retaliation.”

“Transgender Law Center celebrates alongside our partners and PFLAG families who can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their privacy and constitutional rights remain protected in the state of Texas,” said Lynly Egyes (she/her), legal director at Transgender Law Center. “PFLAG, and the loving families who are the heart of that great organization, know that all young people deserve the freedom to grow and thrive.”

On February 9, PFLAG National received civil demands from the Attorney General’s Office to turn over documents, communications, and information related to PFLAG National and the organization’s work helping families in Texas with transgender adolescents. PFLAG National is a plaintiff in two lawsuits filed against restrictions on gender-affirming medical care for adolescents in Texas: one lawsuit Loe v. Texas, challenging S.B. 14, the state’s ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors, and PFLAG v. Abbott, challenging the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ rule mandating investigations of parents who work with medical professionals to provide their adolescent transgender children with medically necessary healthcare. Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the ACLU, Transgender Law Center, and the law firm Arnold & Porter represent PFLAG, Inc. in this newly filed case.

See here for the background on this case, 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. More from PFLAG on this case is here. A court date of June 10 was set for the trial on the merits of the case. As with anything involving Ken Paxton, it ain’t over till all the appeals have been exhausted, so it’s possible that this injunction could be put on hold, most likely if it happens by the Supreme Court. As this is a state case, we at least have the blessing of no Fifth Circuit involvement. But stuff can still happen. I’ll look for news coverage of this and will update as needed.

UPDATE: KXAN is the first that I see to have a story about this.

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One Response to PFLAG wins injunction against Paxton’s intrusive data requests

  1. Pingback: Appeals court upholds injunction that halted DFPS investigations of trans kids’ families | Off the Kuff

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