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Austin judge upholds ruling to block Texas from demanding trans kids' records from LGBTQ+ group

 LGBTQ+ activists protest against Senate bill 14 at the state Capitol in Austin, Texas.
Mikala Compton
Associated Press
LGBTQ+ activists protest against Senate bill 14 at the state Capitol in Austin, Texas.

An Austin judge on Monday once again stopped the state from accessing information on trans youth from national LGBTQ+ organization PFLAG.

Judge Amy Clark Meachum from Travis County’s 201st Civil District court granted the organization a temporary injunction against the Texas Attorney General’s Office and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Lambda Legal is one of the organizations representing PFLAG in court. Senior Counsel Paul Castillo said he “did not anticipate a decision today from the bench,” but he’s thankful the court saw “the urgency of our requests for injunctive relief.”

“It was important for PFLAG to convey just how disruptive these demands were to their mission, where they are providing a safe space and peer support,” he said.

PFLAG received a notice in February to turn over any documents involving “contingency plans and/or alternative avenues to maintain care” for trans youth, along with “recommendations, referrals and/or lists” of health providers treating trans youth.

The Office of the Attorney General of Texas (OAG) has sent inquiries to hospitals, clinics and other organizations to turn over any documentation on trans youth and their health services. Seattle Children’s Hospital sued the office in December 2023, writing in an affidavit that the hospital does not treat any Texas patients and the inquiry was a fear tactic to stop Texans from seeking care in other states.

The OAG’s demands stem from Senate Bill 14, a law passed after last year’s legislative session that bans gender-affirming care for trans Texans under eighteen.

PFLAG won a temporary restraining order earlier this month. Monday’s ruling grants a temporary injunction as the courts sort out the validity of the state’s request.

Castillo said the state’s request has already been harmful to PFLAG’s chapters in Texas.

“Membership and participation in those meetings has decreased since the demands have been issued,” he said. “Volunteer chapter leaders are moving meetings from public libraries to private homes. There is reluctance to secure and obtain sign-in information from members because parents and families fear that the Office of the Attorney General is collecting information about who these trans and non-binary young people are in Texas.”

Castillo said demands for information are part of a larger agenda to “attack for political purposes transgender youth and their families.”

“PFLAG was incredibly brave and it’s continuing stepping up on behalf of PFLAG members all across Texas that continue to be attacked and bullied by the state of Texas and the attorney general,” he said.

A trial on the merits of the case is scheduled for June 10. It’s unclear whether the state will challenge the ruling, but it has done so in previous cases involving trans youth and their families in Texas. KERA has reached out to the OAG for comment, but they have yet to respond.

Elena Rivera is KERA’s health reporter. Got a tip? Email Elena at 

Copyright 2024 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Elena Rivera
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