Republican senator rings in the new year with two cruel bills attacking trans kids

A protester holds a trans pride flag and a placard that reads "Protect Trans Kids" placard during the trans rights demonstration

An Arizona lawmaker is ringing in the new year by introducing two new bills targeting trans youth in the state.

Republican senator Wendy Rogers proposed Senate Bill 1045 (SB 1045) to prohibit gender-affirming surgeries on trans youth. The proposed law would also ban medical staff in Arizona from prescribing, dispensing, administering or supplying hormone treatments to trans people who are under 18.

Any healthcare professional who violates the law would be guilty of a Class 4 felony, which carries a one to three-year prison sentence, AZ Mirror reports.

SB 1045 would also compel any “nurse, counsellor, teacher, principal” or any other “public or private school” administrative to effectively out trans youth to their parents.

The bill states these school offices may not do either of the following: “Encourage or coerce a minor child to withhold from the minor child’s parent or legal guardian the fact that the minor child’s perception of his or her gender or sex is inconsistent with the minor child’s biological sex” or “withhold from a minor child’s parent or legal guardian information related to the minor child’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with her or her biological sex.”

Arizona representative Daniel Hernandez, a member of the Arizona Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, told the Washington Blade that Rogers was “using her power” as a lawmaker to “target the most vulnerable children in our communities”.

“The discriminatory and unjust efforts to stop transgender youth from receiving medical care shows senator Rogers is trying to get in between patients, their doctors and their families,” Hernandez said.

He continued: “She once again is trying to ban our children from participating in school sports based on nothing more than hate.

“It pains me to see another attack made on the transgender community.”

​​Ryan Starzyk, a board member of Phoenix Pride, condemned the “dangerous” and hateful bill in an interview with AZ Mirror.

“It is deadly because if (children) don’t have the foundational information, if they have nobody they can turn and oftentimes is the only one they can turn to is the professional at school before, (the legislature) is laying the foundation for students suicides,” Starzyk said.

Rogers has also introduced a second proposed measure, Senate Bill 1046 (SB 1046), that would ban trans children from participating in school sports teams that align with their gender identity.

A protester wrapped in a trans Pride flag holds a 'Never Stop Fighting' placard during the trans rights demonstration

A protester wrapped in a trans Pride flag holds a ‘Never Stop Fighting’ placard during the trans rights demonstration. (Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

SB 1046 would divide all interscholastic, intramural or club athletic teams into males, females and co-ed teams “based on biological sex” – prohibiting trans youth from participating in sports teams that align with their gender.

The bill would also mandate a medical review of a student’s “internal and external reproductive anatomy”, hormone levels and “genetic makeup” if a school or competitor raises a ‘dispute’ about a student-athlete competing in sports.

Rogers’ bill flies in the face of the fact that the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), a regulatory body for high school athletics and activities in Arizona, has shown its support for trans youth to participate in school sports.

The AIA clearly states: “All students should have the opportunity to participate in Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the sex listed on a student’s eligibility for participation in interscholastic athletics or in a gender that does not match the sex at birth.”

Rogers is just the latest legislator to try to push through anti-trans legislation. A record-breaking at least 130 bills attacking the trans community were introduced across state legislatures in 2021.

Last year, several states – including Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana and Arkansas – signed into law bills banning trans athletes from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identities.

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