Governor Doug Ducey has enacted two recently passed bills that specifically impact the transgender community within Arizona.
The first law, SB 1138, bans gender-affirming care for transgender children.
“A physician may not provide irreversible gender reassignment surgery to any individual who is under eighteen years of age,” according to SB 1138. Note that the bill makes an exception for intersex people.
This legislation is clearly dangerous and cruel. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical and mental health professionals have opposed the bill in a joint statement.
It reads: “As organizations committed to serving the best interests of all youth, we are deeply alarmed at the torrent of bills introduced in state legislatures around the country this year that would directly harm transgender people, and particularly transgender youth.
“These appalling proposals would compromise the safety and well-being of the young people. We all have the duty and obligation to support and protect. All of our nation’s children deserve equal protection and treatment when accessing health care and when attending school. These anti-transgender bills promote discrimination and do harm to students, their families, and their communities.”
Before being signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, the bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth was approved by the Senate by a vote of 16-12 and by the House by a vote of 31-26.
The state of Arizona has also approved a new law, SB1165, that prohibits transgender girls and women from competing in school sports on teams that match their gender identity. The bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 16-13 and by the House by a vote of 31-24.
Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to sign two bills into law is a troubling step backward for the state. Together, these bills send a clear message that transgender young people are not welcome in Arizona. This is deeply troubling, as it will likely lead to increased discrimination and harassment against the transgender community.
“This onslaught is not an accident; it is overwhelming by design and in direct response to progress in the fight for trans rights,” Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that works to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth, said in a statement. “But the Trevor Project will continue supporting our young people while we continue the fight against these policies.”
Sadly, so many states are passing such harmful laws for transgender people. These bills are based on lies and misinformation; and they will only hurt the people they target. It is frustrating that our elected officials can so easily ignore the concerns of those who will be most affected by these legislations. It is even more frustrating that these bills are being passed in the name of “protecting” women and children. The reality is that transgender youth are far more likely to be the victims of violence, not the perpetrators. By passing these laws, the legislatures are sending a clear message that their safety is not a priority. This is an unacceptable situation.