What's at Stake
In the spring of 2023, Texas became the largest state in the country to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth after Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 14. In July 2023, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of five Texas families, three medical professionals, and two organizations representing 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. The bill’s passage alone 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.
In a July 2023 lawsuit, families and medical providers sued the state of Texas and other state defendants to block Senate Bill 14, a law that would ban necessary and life-saving medical care for Texas’ transgender youth, cut off access to care for adolescent minors already receiving treatment, and require the state to revoke the medical licenses of physicians providing the best standard of care to their trans patients. This lawsuit was originally filed in Travis County District Court.
The plaintiffs challenging this law include five Texas families, three medical professionals, and two organizations representing hundreds of families and health professionals across the state. PFLAG is the nation’s first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. GLMA is the oldest and largest association of LGBTQ+ and allied health professionals, including those who treat LGBTQ+ patients.
“The idea of growing up as a woman felt so indescribably and inexplicably wrong, and I couldn’t picture myself as a young teenage girl. I was constantly unhappy,” said Nathan Noe (he/him), a plaintiff in the lawsuit and a 16-year-old transgender boy. “Being on testosterone has tremendously improved all aspects of my life. I am now able to focus on all of the positives of my life and experience my teenage years to the fullest. I am able to socialize and balance schoolwork without thinking about my gender all the time. I love Texas. This is my community. This is where my family lives. This is the place I grew up and I do not want to leave it because my government has decided to attack people like me.”
“As a parent, I don’t want to see my child suffer and don’t understand why the state government would try to strip away my ability to seek the best possible health care for my child,” said Lazaro Loe (he/him), a plaintiff in the lawsuit and father of Luna Loe (she/her), a 12-year-old transgender girl. “If S.B. 14 goes into effect and Luna loses access to this health care, I am deeply concerned about the anxiety, depression, and suicidality that she will face. Her happiness, health, autonomy, and independence would be stripped away by this cruel legislation; and we likely would be forced to leave our home here in Texas.”
“In joining this filing, GLMA is issuing a resounding rejection of S.B. 14, recognizing it as an affront to healthcare ethics and the medical evidence that should govern healthcare policies.” said Alex Sheldon (they/them), executive director of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality. “Under this law, GLMA’s health professional members are forced to make an unthinkable choice: either endanger the health and wellbeing of their transgender patients by abiding by this harmful legislation or violate the law by delivering evidence-based, life-saving care in accordance with their extensive medical training and professional ethics.”
“Every parent in Texas should have the freedom to get their child the health care they need when they need it, whether their child is transgender or not,” said Brian K. Bond (he/him), executive director of PFLAG National. “Yet, because of S.B. 14, PFLAG parents in Texas face a fast-approaching future that eliminates their ability to get their kids medically necessary care, threatening the lives of Texan youth.”
UPDATE: The Plaintiffs held a temporary injunction hearing in Austin on Aug. 15-16, 2023; and, based on two days of evidence and testimony, the district court entered an order blocking S.B. 14 on Aug. 25. The Texas Attorney General appealed that decision and Plaintiffs sought emergency relief from the Texas Supreme Court to reinstate the district court’s ruling and stop S.B. 14 from going into effect.
On Aug. 31, the Texas Supreme Court denied Plaintiffs’ request for emergency relief, which allowed S.B. 14 to take effect on Sept. 1. But the lawsuit continues and the Plaintiffs are urging the Texas Supreme Court to stop this unconstitutional law from continuing to harm transgender youth, their families and healthcare providers.
Amicus Briefs in Support of Appellees
Amicus Briefs in Support of Appellants
- Amicus Brief of Do No Harm in Support of Appellants
- Amicus Brief of Texas Public Policy Foundation in Support of Appellants
- Amicus Brief of the Family Freedom Project in Support of Appellants
- Amicus Brief of Ethics and Public Policy Center in Support of Appellants
- Amicus Brief of Texas Values and Family Policy Alliance in Support of Appellants
Appellants' Reply Brief
Appellees' Emergency Motion for Temporary Relief