Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested records from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) to see how many residents changed their gender information on state driver's licenses and other documents.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the documents obtained detailing Paxton's request did not indicate why the attorney general's office made the request.

The head of the TDPS driver's license division told colleagues in an email obtained by the Post to compile "the total number of changes from male to female and female to male in the last 24 months broken down by month" with data categorized by "AG Request Sex Change Data" and "AG data request."

"We won't need DL/ID numbers at first but may need to have them later if we are required to manually look up documents," the email continued.

Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 2022 Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

TDPS officials found nearly 16,000 gender changes, but TDPS officials determined that a manual search would have to be conducted to determine the reason for the changes. TDPS spokesman Travis Considine told the Post in response to questions.

When the Post asked Considine who in Paxton's office requested the records, he declined to comment.

In February, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the use of gender-affirming healthcare and resources by minors as a form of child abuse.

"The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called "sex change" procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law," stated the Abbott directive.

Abbott signed a bill in October 2021 banning transgender youths from participating in sports in public schools. State lawmakers have also proposed more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ bills ahead of the next session in January, including banning minors at drag shows.

Paxton's investigation into driver's license information is troubling and could be used to further restrict Texas residents' privacy, activists told the Post.

"This is another brick building toward targeting these individuals," said Ian Pittman, an Austin attorney representing Texas parents of transgender children investigated by the state.

"They've already targeted children and parents. The next step would be targeting adults. And what better way than seeing what adults had had their sex changed on their driver's licenses?"

The records obtained by the Post may also indicate that even though the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Abbott and Paxton demonstrated overreach in their directive to investigate families with transgender children they continued to violate privacy rights.

Shelly Skeen, a Dallas attorney with Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ advocacy group, called Paxton's DPS inquiry, "a gross violation of privacy" intended to "target one group of people to fire up their base while transgender people are just trying to live their lives."

"The constitutional issues that this raises are equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment as well as discrimination based on sex," Skeen said.