Equality Arizona

We work to build the political and cultural power of LGBTQ+ Arizona.

Email: admin@equalityarizona.org

Phone: (480) 401-2372

Address: 734 W Polk St.,

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Registered Charity: 95-4124382

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Equality Policy Brief: Week Four

Happy February 10th & welcome to Week 4 of your Equality Arizona Policy Brief.


LEGISLATIVE BRIEF: To prepare for our Equality Lobby Day on Wednesday and Health and Human Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Transform Arizona Schools held meetings in Phoenix and Tucson to look over the language around HB2706 to discuss its intent and brainstorm ways to block it from moving forward.

Currently, the Arizona Interscholastic Association represents 269 schools in every Arizona county. They have a protocol in place to ensure competitiveness and inclusion for trans youth, and HB2706 would destroy all of this progress. We noted the dehumanizing nature of the bill and contrasted the language with 10 other states that have proposed similar anti-trans bills. We are unsure if Nancy Barto, Leo Biasiucci, Walt Blackman, Shawnna Bolick, Regina Cobb, Timothy Dunn, John Fillmore, Mark Finchem, Travis Grantham, Gail Griffin, John Kavanagh, Jay Lawrence, Becky Nutt, Joanne Osborne, Kevin Payne, Warren Petersen, Steve Pierce, Tony Rivero, Bret Roberts, Bob Thorpe, Ben Toma, Kelly Townsend, and Jeff Weninger know that the International Olympic Committee, the NCAA, and AIA already have policies in place to include transgender folks in competitive spaces. Transgender women have been competing since in the Olympics since 2004 and none have won any medals. We are concerned about the gender dispute mechanisms and lawsuit allowances activated by this bill. We worry about the unintended economic consequences and how a law like this could impact our NCAA eligibility for all athletes. We fear this will have a chilling effect on trans youth participating in any extracurricular activities for fear of being outed, humiliated, and bullied. Equality Arizona is accepting proxy requests this week to help anyone who wants to sign up for RTS, the request to speak system, so that our legislators understand what an important issue this is to the LGBTQ community and everyone’s voice can be heard. If you need have a proxy request please contact JP Martin at jp@equalityarizona.org . We currently have 190 folks signed in against the bill, and 21 in favor of it. We are preparing speakers to represent all aspects of how harmful this law can be, from athletes, to coaches, to physicians, to parents - we have no room for these types of laws.  It’s vital this week that our legislators hear from you! Register now for Equality Lobby Day !


FEDERAL BRIEF: The Iowa Caucus did not go as expected, and that’s an understatement. The debacle that resulted instead of a clear and decisive winner, means that it will likely take significantly longer for the field of candidates to winnow.

Buttigieg, Sanders, and Warren were all high performers and have some significant momentum after Iowa – though none of them have the momentum they would have if a win had been quick and decisive. Biden significantly under performed in a state that is largely white, cisgender, and has an older demographic – which should serve a warning to the Democratic party and it’s inside players who have posited that Biden is the only electable candidate. Klobuchar had hoped to perform better in Iowa, banking on her Midwest and moderate appeal. The New Hampshire primary is set for tomorrow – and will hopefully provide more clear results. Last week the Senate voted to acquit our impeached President after intentionally limiting due process by refusing to hear from witnesses and refusing to allow wither side the opportunity to present new evidence. This Senate trial was a historic first in its restriction of due process, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, and disallowing testimony from witnesses and new evidence. Additionally, the acquittal was not a surprise, as no impeached President has ever been removed from office by the Senate, as party loyalty often trumps convicting a powerful man of high crimes and misdemeanors. Senator Romney did make history, as the first member of the same political party as a President being tried by the Senate on articles of impeachment to cast a guilty vote. Senator Sinema of Arizona voted guilty on both articles and Senator McSally voted to acquit on both articles. In the 2020 election Arizonans have an opportunity to help flip the Senate away from the corrupt power of Senator McConnell, by voting out the appointed Arizona Senator, Martha McSally.


MUNICIPAL BRIEF:

Equality Arizona is proud to be working for the implementation of the Civilian Review Board for the City of Phoenix Police Department.

It is critical that LGBTQ Phoenix residents have a police department that is appropriately trained to interact with LGBTQ and other highly marginalized people. To that end, we want you to get involved in the process! As we approach the coming vote for the proposed Civilian Review Board with the Phoenix City Council, we need your voices represented to speak to the many ways that the police department does not serve our community. This is an invaluable opportunity for us to show up for one another, including for those of us with more privilege to show up for those who have less privilege. On Tuesday, February the 18 th  at the Coronado in Phoenix there is a letter-writing event wherein concerned citizens have an opportunity to write City Councilpersons demanding a Civilian Review Board that grants investigative powers to community stakeholders. The LGBTQIA2S community is especially vulnerable because we span every community and face significant economic disparity. Raise your voice make sure that we protect diasporic indigenous communities, trans women and men, non-binary two-spirit people and queer people of color who continue to be the most frequent targets of police brutality in our community.


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