Phoenix, Arizona – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, applauds Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs for signing two executive orders to advance equality for LGBTQ+ Arizonans.
The executive orders will ensure gender affirming care is covered under state health plans and prohibit state and federal resources from supporting “conversion therapy.”
Human Rights Campaign Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe issued the following statement in reaction to today’s executive orders:
“This is what it looks like to have a champion for equality in office. These executive orders are a crucial step in addressing discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, particularly children. No matter who they are or who they love, all Arizonans deserve access to high-quality, best practice healthcare and to live their lives authentically. Thank you Gov. Hobbs for your unwavering support of our community.”
Gov. Hobbs has recently vetoed several discriminatory bills attacking LGBTQ+ Arizonans. She vetoed SB 1040, which would have banned trans students and school personnel from using school restrooms that match their gender identity and would have allowed people to sue schools if they share a restroom or similar school facility with a trans person; SB 1001, which would have made it illegal for teachers and other school personnel to respect the pronouns of a trans or non-binary student without written parental permission; and SB 1005, which left schools open to the threat of litigation for providing supportive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students.
THE FACTS: Dangers of “Conversation Therapy”
So-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.
THE FACTS: Gender-Affirming Care
Every credible medical organization – representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States – calls for age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people. “Transition-related” or “gender-affirming” care looks different for every transgender and non-binary person. Parents, their kids, and doctors make decisions together, and no medical interventions with permanent consequences happen until a transgender person is old enough to give truly informed consent.
This is why majorities of Americans oppose criminalizing or banning gender affirming care. Two recent national surveys report that majorities of Americans oppose “criminalizing” or “banning” gender transition-related medical care for minors: 54% oppose (NPR/Marist on 3/20-23, 2023); 53% oppose (Grinnell College National Survey on 3/14-19, 2023). Democrats and Independents drive opposition to such legislation, suggesting that support for such bans carries risk in a general election context.
Gender transition is a personal process that can include changing clothes, names, and hairstyles to fit a person’s gender identity. Some people take medication, and some do not; some adults have surgeries, and others do not. How someone transitions is their choice, to be made with their family and their doctor. Therapists, parents and health care providers work together to determine which changes to make at a given time that are in the best interest of the child. In most young children, this care can be entirely social. This means:
None of this care is irreversible.
Being transgender is not new. Some say it can feel like being transgender is very new – but that’s because the media has been covering it more in recent months and years. But transgender people have always existed and will continue to exist regardless of the bills we pass. And very few transgender people change their mind.
ALL gender-affirming care is age-appropriate, medically necessary, supported by all major medical organizations, made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents. And in many cases, this care is lifesaving: A recent study from the Trevor Project provides data supporting this — transgender youth with access to gender-affirming hormone therapy have lower rates of depression and are at a lower risk for suicide.
For more information, please visit hrc.org/transgender as well as these resources:
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.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email email@example.com.