L.A.’s Gay and Lesbian Center Condemns Arizona Anti-Transgender Bill
On the same day that the United States Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Arizona House Appropriations Committee voted 7-4 along party lines to pass SB 1045, a bill that would allow-and provide legal protections for-businesses that decide to prohibit use of certain public facilities (including bathrooms) by people whose birth sex does not match the facility’s gender designation.
The bill, introduced by Arizona state Senator John Kavanagh, follows another bill he introduced-and was ultimately pressured to withdraw-that would have made it a criminal offense to use a bathroom other than one which matches the person’s birth gender.
In response, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings issued the following statement:
"In passing this bill out of committee, the State of Arizona is once again on the precipice of legislating bigotry. This bill is aimed squarely at the sections of the Phoenix non-discrimination ordinance that provides much needed legal protections to transgender people.
Senator Kavanagh and his like-minded colleagues must know that the nation is watching and angered by this narrow minded and unacceptable attempt to codify discrimination against a population already suffering from tremendous prejudice and violence.
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center joins with fair-minded Arizonans and the transgender community nationally in calling on the remainder of the Arizona legislature and Governor Brewer to reject SB 1045 in favor of laws that truly do protect those who have historically suffered from cultural and legal discrimination.
If the elected representatives of Arizona’s state government are vying for the title of the most bigoted in the U.S., this bill-in conjunction with the 2010 ’papers please’ immigration law- puts them in strong contention."