Human Rights Campaign Applauds Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs for Vetoing Bill Attacking LGBTQ+ Students

by HRC Staff

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 SB 1005, which left schools open to the threat of litigation for providing supportive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students.

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 bills attacking LGBTQ+ children would be “dead on arrival.”

Human Rights Campaign Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe released the following statement:

“School policy should focus on education, not discrimination. We sincerely thank Gov. Hobbs for rejecting SB 1005, which was a shameful, mean-spirited bill designed to make LGBTQ+ students feel isolated. Caught in the crosshairs of elected officials’ divisive political strategy are vulnerable kids who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence and should feel supported in school. Children deserve safe and affirming spaces in school, and teachers should feel empowered to provide them.”

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.

According to the latest data this year from PRRI, support for LGBTQ+ rights is on the rise in Arizona and nationwide: 77% of Arizona residents support nondiscrimination protections, and 62% of Arizona residents oppose refusal of service on religious grounds. About eight in ten Americans (80%) favor laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. This reflects a dramatic increase in the proportion of Americans who support nondiscrimination protections since 2015, when it was 71%.

So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 210 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 120 bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, eleven have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

  • More than 30 bathroom ban bills filed,

  • More than 100 curriculum censorship bills and 40 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.

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.

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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