by HRC Staff •
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 vetoing anti-LGBTQ+ bill SB 1001.
SB 1001 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.
Last month, Gov. Hobbs also vetoed SB 1005, which left schools open to the threat of litigation for providing supportive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students. Still waiting for Gov. Hobbs’ consideration is anti-LGBTQ+ bill SB 1040, which would ban 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.
In her veto statement, Governor Katie Hobbs said, “Today, I proudly vetoed SB1001, which was an attack on transgender youth. Instead of coming up with new ways to target and isolate our children, we should be working together to create an Arizona where everyone has the freedom to be who they are without fear of harassment or judgment. To the young students who spoke out against this bill, I promise to always be an ally. Thank you for your courage and leadership.”
Human Rights Campaign Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe released the following statement in response:
“School policy should focus on education, not discrimination. We sincerely thank Gov. Hobbs for rejecting SB 1001, which was a shameful, mean-spirited bill designed to make LGBTQ+ students feel isolated. Rather than focusing on real issues impacting Arizonans, anti-equality state legislators have used their slim majorities to assault the LGBTQ+ community and attack transgender children to appease their base. Thank you Gov. Hobbs for protecting our community and stopping this cruel, discriminatory bill from becoming law.”
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs released the following statement:
“I proudly vetoed SB1001, which was an attack on transgender youth. Instead of coming up with new ways to target and isolate our children, we should be working together to create an Arizona where everyone has the freedom to be who they are without fear of harassment or judgment. To the young students who spoke out against this bill, I promise to always be an ally. Thank you for your courage and leadership.”
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 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. A total of 66 pieces of legislation have been enacted into law this year. More than 220 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, 15 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and Florida
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.
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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