Equality Arizona
Equality Arizona Updates
Queer Community in Action at the Capitol

Queer Community in Action at the Capitol

Plus: don't miss out on this Wednesday's drag culture and history panel at the Tempe Public Library!

Between committee hearings and a community demonstration against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, it’s been a busy week at the Capitol for Arizona’s queer community. We’ve got a lot more information about all of it below the fold, but what stood out most was the strength of our voices and the beauty of our stories. If you want to be part of it, sign up to be a volunteer on our website! Or keep reading to learn more about what we’re doing in the three areas of our work:

  1. Civic Advocacy

  2. Political Power

  3. Media & Events

Civic Advocacy

There’s just one week left for new legislation to be introduced in the state Senate, so we could see hundreds of new bills over the next few days. We’ll be keeping a close eye on those, and we’ll report next week on any new legislation that could affect the LGBTQ+ community in Arizona. We’ve seen over half a dozen anti-LGBTQ+ bills so far, and two of those have already passed through committee hearings — SB 1001, which bans teachers from respecting a student’s chosen name and pronouns without written parental permission, and SB 1005, which threatens schools with costly lawsuits that could be used to discourage support for LGBTQ+ students. The next big step for both bills would be a full vote on the Senate floor, so now is the time to call your state senator to encourage them to vote no on SB 1001 and SB 1005. Fortunately, Katie Hobbs’s chief of staff has publicly messaged that any attacks on trans kids would be DOA if they make it to the Governor’s desk.

With over 700 bills already introduced, there’s a lot more going on at the legislature than pointless and destructive attacks on the queer community. Last week, we covered three pro-LGBTQ+ bills, and this week we want to share a few great pieces of legislation that would advance some of our policy priorities.

Bills Supporting Youth Rights

House Bill 2370

Sponsored by Representative Sun, HB 2370 would ensure minors have the right to consent to medical care and prescriptions to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

House Concurrent Resolution 2004

Sponsored by Representative Gress, HCR 2004 proposes an amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would lower the minimum age requirement for state legislators from 25 to 18. If passed by the legislature, it would be sent to the ballot in 2024.

Senate Bill 1062

Sponsored by Senator Shope, SB 1062 would give unhoused 16- and 17-year-old youth the right to consent to shelter, housing, and related services.

Bills Addressing The Housing Crisis

House Bill 2136

Sponsored by Representative Salman, HB 2136 would require cities and counties to provide 24-hour access to clean bathrooms and drinking water for unhoused people.

House Bill 2281

Sponsored by Representative Cano, HB 2281 would dedicate up to $10 million in new funding for housing and rental services to support homeless youth and families.

House Bill 2363

Sponsored by Representative Sun, HB 2363 would protect tenants from eviction after 12 months, except for failure to pay rent or a material breach of the lease agreement. The bill includes an exception for a landlord who moves an immediate family member into the property or removes the property from the market altogether.

Political Power

On Sunday, we joined with community organizers at the Arizona Capitol to protest restrictions on bodily autonomy and the three proposed bans on drag performances. The turnout was incredible! If you weren’t able to make it out, check out this video from AZ Central to catch a few snippets of some of the speakers and some great views of the crowd. And if you met us for the first time at the protest, hi!

Media & Events

Banned Book Club organized by Equality Arizona

Tonight! 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 tonight at Brick Road coffee to discuss the book and the backlash with our book club host Vanessa Marie!

Ask Smart People Smart Questions: Drag Culture, Then and Now organized by Equality Arizona

Wednesday: Drag Culture, Then and Now, a Panel Discussion

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm January 25, 2023 | register

Join us on January 25 at the Tempe Public Library 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.

Queer People Fit: Walking / Running

Queer People Fit: Walking / Running

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm January 26, 2023 | register

Queer People Fit running events are hosted in partnership with FrontRunners & FrontWalkers Phoenix, a running and walking club for the LGBT+ community and allies. We'll gather together at Tempe Town Lake at 5:30 PM and break out in running and walking groups after a 10 to 15 minute introduction. Stick around after the event to get some dinner with the group!

Equality Arizona
Equality Arizona Updates
Hear audio versions of our action alerts and newsletters; meet the poets, artists, activists, and politicians who define queer culture in Arizona; and take a deep dive into the issues behind the issues in today's politics.
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