Judge Blocks Texas Attorney General’s Demand For LGBT Group’s Records

PFLAG, a prominent LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States, secured a temporary restraining order on Friday, blocking requests from Texas’ Republican Attorney General for information regarding the organization’s work with families of transgender minors seeking gender-affirming treatments like puberty blockers and hormones.

This order, granted by Travis County District Court Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel, will remain in effect for at least two weeks. Hexsel scheduled a hearing for March 25 to consider extending the block on Attorney General Ken Paxton’s demands for the duration of the case.

Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), PFLAG expressed gratitude for the ruling, while Paxton’s office remained silent in response to requests for comment.

PFLAG is not only a plaintiff in this lawsuit but also involved in legal battles against Texas’ ban on gender-affirming care for minors and a mandate requiring the state’s child protection agency to investigate families pursuing such care.

Previously, PFLAG successfully obtained preliminary orders halting the enforcement of these policies. However, Paxton’s office is appealing these decisions to the state’s Supreme Court. Despite the appeal, the ban on gender-affirming care is currently in effect, although investigations into families have been temporarily halted.

On February 9, Paxton’s office demanded information from PFLAG regarding its communications about families’ intentions to access gender-affirming care. These demands were purportedly part of an investigation into potential violations of the state’s consumer protection laws. However, the letters detailing these demands did not specify how exactly the consumer protection law might have been breached.

PFLAG argued that these demands were an attempt to circumvent the automatic pause on discovery in the ongoing lawsuits. They contended that complying with these demands would infringe upon their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly and could compromise the confidentiality of patients and families seeking information about gender-affirming care.

Judge Hexsel, in her order issued on Friday, acknowledged the potential irreparable harm PFLAG could face, including severe invasions of privacy, unless Paxton was restrained from abusing the consumer protection law.