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Texas AG Ken Paxton can’t get PFLAG’s data on trans members and care: court

Author: Trudy Ring

A judge has temporarily blocked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s demand for information on PFLAG National’s work on behalf of Texas families with transgender children seeking gender-affirming medical care.

Paxton, an intensely anti-LGBTQ+ Republican, issued a demand in early February for the organization to turn over documents, communications, and other information related to its work with these families. This would include the names and addresses of trans youth members. PFLAG National is a plaintiff in two lawsuits filed against Texas’s restrictions on gender-affirming care for trans youth — its ban on this care and an order from Gov. Greg Abbott that families allowing their children to undergo it be investigated for child abuse.

Responding to the latest demand, PFLAG National filed a new lawsuit against Paxton’s office and sought a temporary restraining order to keep him from obtaining the information. Travis County District Court Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel granted the order Friday.

“It clearly appears to the Court that unless the Defendants are immediately restrained from abusing the Deceptive Trade Practices Act by enforcing or otherwise requiring PFLAG to respond to the Civil Investigative Demand and Notice of Demand for Sworn Written Statement, immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to PFLAG and its members from the Defendants’ wrongful actions,” she wrote.

“Such injury includes, but is not limited to: harm to the ability of PFLAG and its members to exercise their rights of free speech and association under the First Amendment; harm to the ability of PFLAG and its members to be secure against unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment; harm to the ability of PFLAG and its members to avail themselves of the courts when their constitutional rights are threatened; and gross invasions of both PFLAG’s and its members’ privacy in an attempt to bypass discovery stays entered in both Loe v. Texas and PFLAG v. Abbott.

PFLAG is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, its Texas affiliate, Lambda Legal, and the Transgender Law Center. They issued this joint statement: “We’re grateful that the Court saw the harm the Attorney General’s Office’s intrusive demands posed for PFLAG National and its Texas members — and is protecting them from having to respond while we continue to litigate the legality of the Office’s requests. We now will return to court to seek an extended and ultimately permanent block so that PFLAG can continue supporting its Texas members with transgender youth in doing what all loving parents do: supporting and caring for their children.”

Paxton has previously sought information on gender-affirming care from a hospital in Austin and some outside of Texas.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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