Happy February 3rd & welcome to Week 3 of your Equality Arizona Policy Brief.
We are prepared for another week that will see an influx of new bills introduced, many of which Arizona will receive national attention for being anti-LGBTQ. Arizona became the seventeenth state where boilerplate legislation was introduced to marginalize transgender people, this time targeting teenagers who play school sports.
Equality Arizona continues to educate lawmakers around accurate representation of our trans community. We hosted a live panel and documentary at the Arizona Capitol Museum to tell diverse, nuanced, and inspiring stories of LGBTQI2S+ Arizonans so that lawmakers connect with our experience and govern with positive associations to our community and fight for us when our rights are trampled. One thousand two hundred bills, many with little chance of becoming enacted, have been submitted for the consideration of our legislative bodies and the general public. We also know that some bills have been introduced for the purpose of being available to be amended with the infamous strike everything amendments that Arizona is known for. “No bill is ever truly dead at the Arizona legislature” Thorn : We were pricked when Representative John Fillmore brought back parts of Senator Sylvia Allen’s controversial sex education bill during a House Education Committee. It was painful to watch Republicans continue to push through legislation that is overwhelmingly unpopular. We will continue to rally parents who want to see us enact LGBTQ inclusive, age suitable, and science based sex education. A critical milestone is to ensure that trans and non-binary individuals are included in our schools so that their experience mirrors that of their peers. Rose : We highlight the first time Republican State Senator Kate Brophy McGee introduced Senate Bill 1321, an update to our nondiscrimination laws to include gender identity and sexual orientation so Arizona residents may “earn a living, provide for their families, and patronize businesses without fear of being legally fired.” She is opposed by Center for Arizona Policy’s Cathi Herrod who was last seen trying to whip votes from those who are less allied with our community by saying, “Tolerance is a two-way street, and all should acknowledge that disagreement is not discrimination. SOGI laws attempt to force agreement in complex and sensitive issues. They ostracize and marginalize people who hold decent and honorable beliefs about marriage, sex, and gender. And there is no place for such laws in Arizona.” Bud : We look forward to showing support for House Bill 2707, a conversion therapy ban introduced by LGBT caucus member Representative Cesar Chávez. This bill sanctions the appropriate health profession regulatory boards to discipline unprofessional conduct when dealing with the unethical and impossible task of giving treatment to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person. We ask you to take some time out of your busy day to come and meet with our legislators for our Equality Lobby Day on February 12. We are co-hosting our event with HRC and GLSEN. Register now!
Equality Lobby Day On January 29 th , Equality Arizona showed it’s Out In Arizona Documentary to Legislators at the State Capitol. Following the showing, a panel of EQAZ staff & stakeholders from the community addressed questions from community members & representatives. We were honored to have an amazing crew of trans, non-binary & two-spirit panelists as well as two parents of trans youth. We spoke about the importance of protecting trans lives, understanding differences in perspective across racial & economic variance & the need for inclusive sex-education in our public schools. We are grateful to State Representative Isela Blanc for inviting us out to the Capitol & for her commitment to our community. We have a long way to go in creating true Equity for LGBTQIA+ people in Arizona but it is encouraging to be asked to speak to our representatives. Equality Arizona will continue to do all we can to obtain complete political agency for our community.
The Iowa presidential caucuses begin at 8 p.m. Eastern time at more than 1,600 sites across the state. Seven Democratic candidates are mounting competitive campaigns in Iowa. They are Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the former tech executive Andrew Yang and the former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer. There will also be Republican caucuses which President Trump is expected to win.
There are 41 delegates up for grabs, a small number considering a candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the party’s presidential nomination. However, Iowa, like the New Hampshire primary set for February 11th, is considered a bellwether for the how the nation will vote and which candidates are truly competitive in a national presidential race.
Tonight, is the first time that American voters will have a say in who they want to be the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. As we watch the early primaries, don’t forget to make sure you are registered here in Arizona for our presidential preference election on March 17 th , 2020.
Senators are hearing closing arguments today in the impeachment trial. An acquittal is expected. More and more senators are speaking publicly about their beliefs that Mr. Trump did pressure the Ukraine inappropriately and for his own gain, however most are also saying his actions, even if improper, do not clear the high bar for ejecting a president from office.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that the voters should ultimately decide in November.