Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills Up for a Vote
Our weekly update on LGBTQ+ policy and culture
It’s a beautiful gray and rainy MLK Day in Phoenix, Arizona, and we’re bringing you another set of updates on the three pillars of our work:
Media & Events
It’s a busy week, and we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make the change you want to make!
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Action Alert: Senate Education Committee
On Wednesday, January 18th, two anti-LGBTQ+ bills are scheduled for a vote in the Senate Education Committee — SB 1001, which makes it illegal for teachers and other school employees to respect the pronouns of a trans or non-binary student without written parental permission, and SB 1040, which bans trans students and teachers from using school restrooms that match their gender identity. We’ll be there to testify against both bills, and if you are looking for a way to get involved, this is a good opportunity to set up your Request to Speak account at the capitol and see how a committee meeting runs. If you already have an account, register your opinion on the bills today.
Action Alert: Senate Judiciary Committee
The next morning, on Thursday, January 19th, another anti-LGBTQ+ bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 1005 bars courts from awarding damages to a government entity when sued for a violation of the parental bill of rights, unless the case was brought without justification or for the purpose of harassment. In practice, teachers and schools may feel pressure to avoid perfectly legal ways of supporting the LGBTQ+ community out of fear that it may expose them to costly legal action.
Pro-LGBTQ+ Bills Introduced
Summary: sponsored by Representative Gutierrez, HB 2068 would repeal Arizona’s trans student athlete ban, which bans trans girls from girls sports in schools.
Summary: sponsored by Representative P. Contreras, HB 2351 is a conversion therapy ban. It prohibits healthcare professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of anyone under the age of 18.
Summary: sponsored by Representative De Los Santos, HCR 2014 would repeal Arizona’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, replacing it with protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. If passed by the legislature, it would be sent to the ballot in 2024.
In next week’s newsletter, we’ll cover some of the other promising legislation we’re following, and keep you up to date on any new anti-LGBTQ+ movement in the legislature.
“He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Between SB 1026, SB 1028, and SB 1030, we’ve already seen three different drag bans proposed this year, out of only 56 total senate bills introduced so far this session. The sponsors of these bills, Senators Kavanagh and Kern, know that they have no chance of becoming law — even if they can find enough support in the legislature, they won’t be able to find it in the governor’s office. But they’ll still push these bills as far as they’re able, because whether or not they become law, they still serve their purposes. Drag bans have sprung up within the past year as a way to legitimize violent harassment of drag performers and their audiences; these bills exist to put the community on notice and to foster a false debate over our rights to create expressive art and to play with the boundaries of gendered norms. Freedom of expression isn’t up for debate, so we’re joining with other community voices to protest these bills at the capitol on January 22.
Check out the instagram post embedded in this update for more information! Dress in black or wear drag, and make sure to mask up for covid safety.
Media & Events
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Ask Smart People Smart Questions: Drag Culture, Then and Now
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm January 25, 2023 | register
Join us on January 25 for our first installment of Ask Smart People Smart Questions. We’ll talk with a panel of experts about the history of drag, the shape of drag culture in Arizona, and how drag performers are responding to the current moment of increased harassment and violence.
Location: Tempe Library Ironwood Classroom
The Arizona Equals Conversation
After a short winter break from the podcast, the Arizona Equals Conversation will return this Wednesday featuring an interview with Bridget Sharpe, the Arizona State Director for the Human Rights Campaign. Catch up on the archive in any podcast app, or sign up to be a guest on a future episode of the podcast by sending us an email or using the form on our website. If you’re queer and you live in Arizona, we want to hear your story!
Banned Book Club
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm January 23, 2023 | register
As book bans sweep the nation, one great way to push back is to read! Our banned book for the month of January is Melissa, by Alex Gino, about a young girl finding the courage and support to express her identity. Join us at Brick Road coffee on January 23 to discuss the book and the backlash with our book club host Vanessa Marie!
Location: Brick Road Coffee