Texas District Court Grants Injunction to Pause Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban
August 25, 2023
AUSTIN, Texas — The 201st Judicial District Court of Travis County, Texas granted an injunction this afternoon to pause the state’s unconstitutional medical care ban targeting transgender youth.
The Texas district court announced the decision following a hearing last week on Senate Bill 14. Brian K. Bond, CEO of PFLAG National, which is a plaintiff in the case, testified at the hearing on behalf of PFLAG families and chapters in Texas to block this unjust law.
“The court made the right decision: to ensure that transgender Texans and their families can continue to thrive,” said Bond. “Every trans kid deserves access to safe, medically necessary, scientifically proven gender-affirming care, and PFLAG will continue to support our Texas families as we work to end the harm of this unjust law.”
The Texas Attorney General’s office is expected to appeal, in which case the Plaintiffs will seek emergency relief from the appellate courts. The law is scheduled to go into effect on September 1 and ban necessary and life-saving medical care in Texas for the treatment of gender dysphoria for transgender youth and require the state to revoke the medical licenses of physicians who provide the best standard of care to their trans patients.
Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, ACLU, Transgender Legal Center, Lambda Legal, and the law firms Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, LLP argued for the injunction in court last Tuesday and Wednesday. The court agreed that 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. The lawsuit was filed in July on behalf of five Texas families, three medical professionals, and two organizations serving hundreds of families and health professionals across the state.
The five Texas families challenging this law come from diverse backgrounds across the state with transgender children and teenagers 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.
Plaintiff PFLAG is the nation’s first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. Plaintiff GLMA is the oldest and largest association of LGBTQ+ and allied health professionals, including those who treat LGBTQ+ patients.
“We are elated by the court’s ruling, which strikes a blow against this outrageous attempt to ban necessary and often life-saving medical care for Texas’ transgender youth, cut off access to medical care for adolescents already receiving treatment, and require the state to revoke the medical licenses of physicians providing the best standard of care to their transgender patients,” said Paul D. Castillo (he/him), Senior Counsel, Lambda Legal. “We will continue to fight for our clients and for all transgender youth in Texas until this dangerous law is permanently set aside.”
“The court decision is a critical victory for transgender youth and their families, supporters, and health providers against this blatantly unconstitutional law,” said Brian Klosterboer (he/him), attorney at the ACLU of Texas. “As Texans, we believe that each one of us should have the freedom to be ourselves and have access to best-practice medical care that we need for ourselves and our children without facing cruel discrimination or bullying designed as policy. Trans Texans shouldn’t have to go to court to defend their basic rights, and we will keep advocating for our clients every step of the way.”
“The court’s decision was made possible by our courageous plaintiff families, doctors, trans youth, and the hundreds of trans Texans and their allies who have shown up to rallies, committee hearings, and the Capitol to ensure trans youth can access life-saving and necessary medical care,” said Lynly Egyes (she/her), Legal Director of Transgender Law Center. “Texans fought back against a small fraction of people who sought to take care away from an already vulnerable population. With today’s ruling, we join in celebration with our partners to show all youth in Texas, and across this country, that no matter your gender, your race, or the neighborhood you live in, trans youth and their families will have the freedom to make the medical decisions that are best for them.”
“We’re so thankful for our clients, their families, and the entire transgender community of Texas for helping to make this ruling possible,” said Elizabeth Gill, Staff Attorney for the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “Across the country, countless transgender youth are having their well-being threatened and their lives uprooted by dangerous and unconstitutional bans like SB 14. Every day that those young people are protected from hatred and able to access the care they need is a victory, but we won’t stop fighting until these laws are permanently erased from the record and the rights and lives of people like our clients are protected and safe.”
“We are invigorated by the court’s decision to protect and uphold the rights of trans youth, their families, and health care providers in Texas,” said Alex Sheldon (they/them), executive director at GLMA. “This ruling stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of Texas families and the medical expertise of GLMA’s health professional members, who with each testimony have clearly demonstrated that gender-affirming care is evidence-based, life-saving care. Although this was just one battle of many, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight for the rights of trans youth and health care providers offering gender-affirming care in Texas and throughout the nation.”
Access a copy of the injunction here.
Access a fact sheet about the lawsuit here.
Access 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