Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, Former Press Secretary, State & Local 

HRC exposed the anti-LGBTQ record of Arizona Secretary of State candidate Steve Gaynor. Gaynor has opposed updating state non-discrimination laws to protect on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and supports the debunked and dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Lawmakers in a growing number of states have passed legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the discredited practice.

“Steve Gaynor's contempt for LGBTQ Arizonans is shameful, dangerous and inconsistent with our state’s shared values,” said HRC Arizona State Director Justin Unga. “From his support for the abusive practice of conversion therapy, to his refusal to support legislation protecting all Arizonans from discrimination, Gaynor has proved he is unfit to serve in the highest levels of Arizona government. HRC is working tirelessly to turn out Arizona’s more than 800,000 Equality Voters this November, to reject the politics of hate and Gaynor’s discriminatory agenda at the ballot box.”

HRC has endorsed Gaynor’s opponent Katie Hobbs for Secretary of State. First elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and the Arizona State Senate in 2012, Hobbs is a strong advocate for LGBTQ equality, who has supported and co-sponsored several pro-equality bills, including legislation to extend inclusive non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Arizonans and legislation to repeal discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ adoption language in state statutes. She also worked to extend health care to hundreds of thousands of Arizonans, create new education and job training opportunities, and establish rights for victims of sexual and domestic violence. 

In Arizona, HRC has identified more than 800,000 Arizonans as likely Equality Voters, meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Arizona in the 2018 cycle, and has put staff and resources on the ground in the state. Last year, HRC announced a coast-to-coast campaign called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

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