Legal Advocates to Texas Trans Youth and Families: The Fight Is Far From Over
August 31, 2023
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court today refused to grant an emergency request for temporary relief and allowed Senate Bill 14, the state’s unconstitutional medical care ban, to go into effect, endangering Texas transgender youth, infringing on the rights of parents, and exposing doctors who care for them to loss of medical licenses and other potential penalties. A Travis County District Court had granted a temporary injunction last week that blocked implementation of the discriminatory ban, but the Texas Attorney General immediately appealed directly to the Texas Supreme Court, thereby staying the injunction.
The legal advocates who brought the challenge to SB 14 had asked the Texas Supreme Court to reinstate the injunction so that trans youth could still access medically necessary and evidence-based medical care prescribed in consultation with their parents and their doctors for the treatment of gender dysphoria while the appeal was litigated. The Court refused to do so and did not provide any written explanation for allowing the law to remain in effect.
In July, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, Transgender Law Center, and the law firms Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, filed a lawsuit challenging SB 14 on behalf of five Texas families, three medical professionals, and two organizations serving hundreds of families and health professionals across the state – PFLAG and GLMA.
The five Texas families challenging this law come from diverse backgrounds across the state with transgender youth who would be irreparably harmed if S.B. 14 goes into effect. The bill’s passage has resulted in families splitting up or planning to leave Texas to continue treatment for their children. The families are suing pseudonymously to protect themselves and their children, who are transgender Texans between the ages of 9 and 16.
The legal advocates issued the following joint statement:
“Today’s cruel ruling places Texas’ transgender youth, and the families and medical professionals who love and care for them, directly in harm’s way. The district court heard two days of testimony, weighed the evidence, and made a reasoned and thoughtful determination that the ban likely violated the Texas Constitution, and thus should be delayed while the full case plays out in court. Inexplicably, the Texas Supreme Court disagreed, and transgender Texas youth and their families are forced to confront the start of the school year fearful of what awaits them.
“But let us be clear: the fight is far from over. In its ruling, the district court clearly articulated the ways in which SB 14 likely violates the Texas Constitution by infringing upon the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children, infringing upon Texas physicians’ right of occupational freedom, and discriminating against transgender adolescents with gender dysphoria because of their sex, sex stereotypes, and transgender status. We couldn’t agree more, and look forward to continuing this fight.”
For general information and resources, visit www.txtranskids.org
Read more about the lawsuit here.
PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved. Learn more, find support, donate, and take action at PFLAG.org.
Laura McGinnis (she/her),
Sr. Manager, Press and Public Relations
[email protected] | (202) 864-2247