Arizona governor passes laws to protect trans healthcare and restrict conversion therapy

Arizona governor Katie Hobbs speaking into a microphone

The governor of Arizona has passed two laws protecting the LGBTQ+ community, including restrictions on the harmful practice of conversion therapy.

Governor Katie Hobbs issued the two executive orders on Tuesday (27 June), with one banning state agencies from promoting or funding conversion therapy, and the other allowing state employee health insurance plans to cover gender-affirming surgery, which was previously banned in a 2017 policy.

The moves, which come amid a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills aiming to restrict gender-affirming care across the US, were welcomed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which praised Hobbs as a “champion for equality”. 

The governor wrote on Twitter: “Today, I signed two executive orders restoring rights and protecting LGBTQ+ Arizonans. 

“I’m proud the state is leading by example on this issue, and we will continue working until Arizona is a place where every individual can participate equally in our economy and our workforce without fear of discrimination or exclusion.”

Bridget Sharpe, Arizona state director of HRC said in a statement: “This is what it looks like to have a champion for equality in office. 

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“These executive orders are a crucial step in addressing discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, particularly children. 

“No matter who they are or who they love, all Arizonans deserve access to high-quality, best practice healthcare and to live their lives authentically. Thank you Gov. Hobbs for your unwavering support of our community.”

Governor Hobbs has previously been praised for her work protecting the LGBTQ+ community in Arizona, signing an executive order extending employment protections to LGBTQ+ state employees on her first day in office in January 2023.

She has since vetoed a bill that would have banned trans students from using the bathrooms appropriate for their gender at school.

“SB 1040 is yet another discriminatory act against LGBTQ+ youth passed by the majority at the state legislature,” Hobbs said.

“I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.”

The HRC estimates that over 560 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the US since the beginning of 2023. 

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