Phoenix, Arizona – The Arizona legislature has advanced a slate of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in recent weeks – all of which are expected to be vetoed by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs if they reach her desk.
Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ victory in November makes this the first legislative session in nearly a decade where the governor is expected to veto discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills. As a candidate, Gov. Hobbs committed to support transgender Arizonans, and her chief of staff signaled that SB1011 and other bills attacking LGBTQ+ children would be “dead on arrival.”
New public opinion polling shows that Gov. Hobbs has broad support and is working to advance real issues that are important to the majority of Arizonans, while a slim anti-equality majority in the legislature is wasting time and resources attacking the LGBTQ+ community.
The Arizona Senate has passed the following anti-LGBTQ+ bills this session:
SB 1001 – Makes it illegal for teachers and other school personnel to respect the pronouns of a trans or non-binary student without written parental permission.
SB 1005 – Leaves schools open to threat of litigation for providing supportive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students.
SB 1040 – Bans trans students and school personnel from using school restrooms that match their gender identity and allows people to sue schools if they share a restroom or similar school facility with a trans person.
SB 1026 – Prohibits state money from being used for drag shows designed as an all ages performance such as a drag story hour or a family friendly pride parade with a drag performer at a public university.
The Senate also passed SCR 1025, which adds a Parental Bill of Rights to the state constitution. If the House also passes this bill, the amendment would go to the ballot as a referendum without Gov. Hobbs signature.
Human Rights Campaign Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe released the following statement in response:
“Rather than focusing on real issues impacting Arizonans, anti-equality state legislators are using their slim majorities to continue to assault the LGBTQ+ community and attack transgender children to appease their base. We want to be clear: Gov. Hobbs ran on the promise that she would use the full extent of her power to protect our community.
“We wish Arizona legislators would stop these attacks, because they stoke fear, create stigma, and harm the well-being of LGBTQ+ people. The Human Rights Campaign wants to thank organizers and volunteers who worked hard to put Gov. Hobbs and pro-equality legislators in office so that we can stop cruel bills from becoming law. The lives of LGBTQ+ people and their families are better for it.”
Merely introducing anti-transgender bills and peddling anti-transgender rhetoric has a damaging impact on youth in Arizona. A Trevor Project survey shows that a startling 85% of transgender or gender non-binary youth say their mental health has been negatively affected by these legislative attacks.
So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 420 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. Approximately 180 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
This year, HRC is tracking:
More than 100 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; five have already become law, in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Utah,
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
More than 80 curriculum censorship bills and 35 anti-drag performance bills.
In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes, politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022 and 29 passed into law. Despite this, fewer than 10% of these efforts succeeded. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. By the end of the 2022 legislative session, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children passed into law.
Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in 2022 took several forms, including:
80 bills aimed to prevent transgender youth from playing school sports consistent with their gender identity. 19 states now exclude transgender athletes in school sports.
42 bills to prevent transgender and non-binary youth from receiving life-saving, medically-necessary gender-affirming healthcare. 5 states now restrict access to gender-affirming care.
70 curriculum censorship bills tried to turn back the clock and restrict teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues and other marginalized communities in their classrooms. 7 passed into law.
Human Rights Campaign leaders, LGBTQ+ advocates and parents of transgender children are available for interviews. Please contact email@example.com.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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