Judge blocks Texas from collecting info on transgender children receiving gender-affirming care

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AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas judge on Friday temporarily blocked state Attorney General Ken Paxton from forcing an LGBTQ+ advocacy group to hand over information about transgender children receiving gender-affirming medical care.

The ruling came just one day after PFLAG National went to court to try to stop Paxton's office from getting the information.

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Travis County District Court Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel said in an order that providing the information would harm PFLAG and its members in several ways, including violating their rights of free speech, association and protection from unreasonable searches. Additionally, the judge said, it would be a “gross invasion” of privacy.

A hearing was scheduled for March 25 to give the attorney general's office a chance to make the case for why Friday's order shouldn't continue.

This round of litigation stems from a request Paxton's office made in February for “documents and communications” about PFLAG CEO Brian Bond's statement to court last year that members were setting up contingency plans after the state imposed a sweeping ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

In a statement Thursday, Paxton's office said the information is highly relevant to investigations into whether medical providers are committing insurance fraud to circumvent the ban.

The ACLU, which is representing FPLAG in court, said it will seek a permanent block on Paxton's demand “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.”

PFLAG and Texas have battled in court previously including in 2022, when the state adopted a policy of investigating instances of gender-affirming care for children as child abuse cases.

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