Media Contact

Kristi Gross, ACLU of Texas, [email protected]

February 29, 2024

AUSTIN, Texas — PFLAG National filed a lawsuit Wednesday night to stop an outrageous and unconstitutional demand from the Texas Attorney General’s Office that PFLAG National turn over information and documents about its support of families in Texas seeking gender-affirming medical care for their transgender youth.

“This mean-spirited demand from the Attorney General’s Office is petty and invasive, which is why we want the court to put an end to it,” said Brian K. Bond (he/him), CEO of PFLAG National. “Across races, places, and genders, our families and communities are stronger when we are free to come together. PFLAG National, our chapters, and our entire community will continue leading with love as we have for the last five decades, providing support, education, and advocacy to ensure every LGBTQ+ person in Texas and beyond is safe, celebrated, empowered, and loved.”

On February 9, PFLAG National — which has 18 chapters in Texas — 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 with transgender adolescents. PFLAG National is a plaintiff in two lawsuits filed against restrictions on gender-affirming medical care for adolescents in Texas: 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 Service’s rule mandating investigations of parents who work with medical professionals to provide their adolescent transgender children with medically necessary health care.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Transgender Law Center filed the lawsuit Wednesday night on behalf of PFLAG National in Travis County District Court requesting a temporary restraining order against the attorney general’s investigative demands on the grounds the Attorney General’s Office is acting outside its authority, attempting to subvert the discovery process in the separate lawsuits challenging S.B. 14 and the DFPS rule, and seeking to violate PFLAG’s and its members’ constitutional free speech and association rights, as well as the right to be free from unconstitutional searches and seizures.

“PFLAG National is a beacon of hope for trans youth and their families in Texas,” said Brian Klosterboer (he/him), attorney at the ACLU of Texas. “The organization has repeatedly gone to court to protect the rights of parents and young people to make medical decisions based on evidence and science, rather than fear or politics. Transgender youth know who they are and will not be silenced, even when elected officials relentlessly target them for political gain. The Attorney General Office’s latest attempt to punish organizations for opposing government overreach sets a dangerous precedent for all Texans who advocate on any issue and must be stopped.”

“Targeting PFLAG National as an organization and its members invokes the historical targeting of civil rights organizations that assert the dignity and equality of their members in the face of government oppression,” said Harper Seldin (he/him), attorney at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “The Attorney General’s Office is attempting to use its powers to intimidate both PFLAG National as an organization and its members in direct opposition to their constitutional speech and association rights. We will never stop fighting for the safety, dignity, and equality of transgender youth and their families in Texas and across the country.”

“Transgender Law Center will continue to fight on behalf of PFLAG National and its members against the continued unconstitutional actions of the Office of the Attorney General. This is just another cruel attempt to circumvent the legal system and target families and friends who support transgender people,” said Lynly Egyes (she/her), legal director at Transgender Law Center. “Our communities will not be intimidated by the cruel machinations of out-of-touch politicians. We stand with the Texans of all races, genders, and backgrounds who are fighting for the affirming care we all deserve.”

“The attorney general’s demand of PFLAG National is just another attempt to scare Texas families with transgender adolescents into abandoning their rights and smacks of retaliation against PFLAG National for standing up for those families against the State's persecution,” said Karen Loewy (she/her), senior counsel and director of constitutional law practice at Lambda Legal. “But PFLAG members’ rights to join together for mutual support, community, and encouragement are strong and we will fight to protect them.”

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