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PRESS CONFERENCE: Save Women’s Sports (The Right Way)

State Capitol, Phoenix – Families of transgender athletes, physicians, more than a dozen LGBTQ and business organizations, lawmakers and other stakeholders will speak out Thursday morning in united opposition to HB2706, Rep. Nancy Barto’s so-called Save Women’s Sports Act. A press conference to discuss the bill's harmful conseqences will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday on the Arizona House of Representatives Lawn, 1700 W. Washington St. in Phoenix. Our list of speakers include Jennifer Brown, Chelsa Morrison, Dr. Vinny Chulani, and Representative Daniel Hernandez, Chairman of the LGBTQ Caucus.

Opposition groups to HB2706 are fighting to protect the privacy of transgender youth who already follow the law to play in sports upon the approval of a review committee. Before a scheduled 9 a.m. House floor session where the bill could be debated, the public can hear from parents, athletes, physicians, and elected officials who have connected with their peers in various professional capacities to express concerns around this blanket ban. Title IX applies to LGBT students since President Obama’s first term in office, and in 2016 the

Department of Justice and Department of Education issued joint guidance on the scope of Title IX formalizing the view that transgender students must be treated consistent to their gender identity. The Alliance Defending Freedom is currently looking to overturn this in the courts.

The impact of HB2706 would subject girl athletes to invasive medical exams while explitily banning transgender girls from participating in sports teams and creating a whistleblower program to open up the entire field for frivolous lawsuits, physical exams of children’s genitals, genetics, and invasive blood testing. This expensive litmus test isolates and stigmatizes trans girls. It also ignores existing policies in Arizona that rightfully allow trans student participation in athletics by the Arizona Insterscholastic Atheletics Association.

Standing with our speakers are the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF), Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV), American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona (ACLU-AZ), Arizona National Organization for Women (AZ NOW), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Equality Arizona (EQAZ), GLSEN Phoenix, Human Rights Campaign in Arizona (HRC AZ), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), One Community, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAZ), Secular Coalition for Arizona, Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, Vitalist Health Foundation, and the William E. Morris Institute for Justice.

Equality Arizona is Arizona’s statewide LGBTQ political organization. Our mission is to build the cultural and political power of LGBTQ Arizonans.

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