"The Arizona Politicians Who Voted for this Bill Should be Ashamed of Themselves"
Phoenix, Arizona — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned today’s passage of Senate Bill 1040 in the Arizona Senate that bans trans students and school personnel from using school restrooms that match their gender identity and allows Arizonans to sue schools if they share a restroom or similar school facility with a trans person. The bill now heads to the Arizona House.
Human Rights Campaign Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe issued the following statement today:
“The Arizona politicians who voted for this bill should be ashamed of themselves. It is unfortunate that our lawmakers are using their authority to demonize some of our nation’s most vulnerable – our children. These power-seeking politicians will not stop pandering to their base, even if it means keeping a child from using the restroom at school. Schools should be safe and welcoming places for all kids. The Arizona House should refuse to send this bill to the Governor’s desk – where it will inevitably be vetoed – and instead focus on real issues impacting children in Arizona.”
Since the reviled HB2 was passed, and subsequently partially-repealed, in North Carolina, only three states – Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma – have passed legislation mandating anti-transgender discrimination in bathrooms.
While “bathroom bills'' were very popular in 2016, the international condemnation heaped upon HB2 dissuaded many other states from advancing their own legislation. The Associated Press projected that HB2 passed in 2016 could have cost North Carolina $3.76 billion over 10 years from loss of business opportunities and impact the lives of countless students. Furthermore, legislation attacking transgender refuses to serve the major interests and needs of communities and families, who now pay the price as the consequences of failed leadership across the state. Transgender youth are denied their right to a public education when they’re preventing from accessing restroom facilities consistent with their gender identity, and “bathroom bills” are a violation of both Title IX and the U.S. Constitution.
Two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking 380 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
So far this year, HRC is tracking:
90 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; two have already become law, in Utah and South Dakota,
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
And 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 10 of which are specifically anti-trans.
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 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.
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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