AIDS Issues Update Blog

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AZ’s Kavanagh Continues Transgender Witch Hunt; Anti-Trans Bill Advances

Posted by Sunny Bjerk , March 28, 2013

AZ’s Kavanagh Continues Transgender Witch Hunt; Anti-Trans Bill Advances

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Despite a wave of national backlash, Arizona’s House still passed a bill restricting transgender people’s access to bathrooms.

Hundreds of protestors showed up to a House panel hearing on the bill, which in its new form would protect businesses from criminal or civil suits if they decide to ban people from using the restroom of their gender. The bill still passed despite people testifying at the seven-hour long hearing about how it would affect their safety and access to bathrooms.

Claire Swinford, a transwoman from Tucson, testified that being forced to use the men’s room instead of being allowed to use the women’s restroom will actually put her at risk for attack in the men’s room. In short, she said, “What your bill attempts to do is sacrifice my personal safety for somebody else’s sense of discomfort.”

Thankfully, all Democrats on the panel all voted against the bill. In fact, Representative Stefanie Mach (Tucson), stated, “Frankly, I think this is an embarrassment to our state.”

While Kavanagh opened the hearing by stating that his original bill—which would have required a birth certificate in order to access a bathroom—“went too far,” he has refused to drop the matter ever since Phoenix adopted gender expression/identity protections earlier this year.

While the bill is not yet law, Kavanagh’s fear mongering campaign in Arizona continues.

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