US: Arizona bill targeting transgender people temporarily shelved

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A bill introduced earlier this year in the US state of Arizona to allow businesses to refuse transgender people the right to use facilities appropriate to their gender identity, has been temporarily shelved by its sponsor, and will not go to vote in the House until next year.

Republican Representative John Kavanagh introduced the bill in March in direct response to legislation passed in Ferbruary, which added discrimination protections for LGBT people ensuring they have access to employment, housing and public accommodations.

The bill in its original form would have made it a criminal offence for transgender people to use facilities appropriate to their gender identity.

After an outcry from human rights lobbies, the bill was later changed to give business owners the legal right to bar trans people from using appropriate facilities, and was later in March approved by a House panel.

Kavanagh has now said he will give up on the legislation for the remainder of this session, saying on Wednesday that his caucus had raised concerns over definitions in his proposal.

The chamber broke into a chant of “shame, shame, shame” as the panel voted 7-4 to pass the bill back in March, with one Democratic Representative Stefanie Mach saying: “Frankly. I think this is an embarrassment to our state.”

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