Phoenix, Arizona – Today, 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 vetoing anti-transgender bathroom bill SB 1040.
SB 1040 would have banned 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.
Gov. Hobbs recently vetoed 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. Gov. Hobbs also vetoed SB 1005, which left schools open to the threat of litigation for providing supportive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students.
Human Rights Campaign Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe released the following statement in response:
“Schools should be safe and welcoming places for all students. We sincerely thank Gov. Hobbs for rejecting SB 1040 – a shameful bill designed to alienate and stigmatize trans school personnel and kids simply trying to navigate childhood and their adolescence. This discriminatory bill never should have reached the governor’s desk, and we thank Gov. Hobbs for vetoing it.”
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs released the following statement:
“SB1040 is yet another discriminatory act against LGBTQ+ youth passed by the majority at the state legislature. As I stated in my veto letter for SB1001, I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.”
Transgender youth are denied their right to a public education when they’re prevented from accessing restroom facilities consistent with their gender identity, and “bathroom bills” are a violation of both Title IX and the U.S. Constitution. HRC and Hart Research Group conducted a 10-swing-state poll in 2020 that found at least 60% of conservative voters across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.
Gov. Hobbs’ victory last 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 supporting transgender Arizonans, and her chief of staff signaled that SB 1011 and other bills attacking LGBTQ+ children would be “dead on arrival.”
Recent 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.
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.
THE FACTS: 2023 Becoming Worst Year On Record for Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 530 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. A total of 74 pieces of legislation have been enacted into law this year. More than 225 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 125 gender-affirming care bans — bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, 16 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Florida, and Nebraska
More than 30 anti-transgender bathroom bills filed;
More than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum censorship bills, and;
45 anti-LGBTQ+ drag performance ban bills.
Americans believe the amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is excessive, agreeing it is “political theater.” Likely voters across all political parties look at GOP efforts to flood state legislatures with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as political theater. Recent polling indicates that 64% of all likely voters, including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” (Data For Progress survey of 1,220 likely voters, 3/24-26, 2023).
By comparison, last year in 2022 politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, 29 of which were enacted into law. These efforts — the result of a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes seeking to slander, malign, and stigmatize LGBTQ+ people — only yielded a less than 10% success rate, as more than 90% of anti-LGBTQ+ bills were defeated. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children. By the end of the 2022 state legislative season, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children were enacted into law.
More than 300 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in states across the country. Major employers in tech, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, retail, and other sectors are joining with a unified voice to say discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.
Human Rights Campaign leaders, LGBTQ+ advocates and parents of transgender children are available for interviews. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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