Katie Hobbs vetoes another anti-trans bill from Arizona Republicans | Phoenix New Times

Another day, another anti-trans bill vetoed by Katie Hobbs

Governor makes it clear — again: “I will not sign legislation that attacks Arizonans."
Sen. John Kavanagh criticized the veto of his bill targeting transgender people as "partisan."
Sen. John Kavanagh criticized the veto of his bill targeting transgender people as "partisan." Elias Weiss
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Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs pulled out her veto stamp again to strike down another GOP anti-transgender bill aimed at banning trans students from using school showers designated for the gender that aligns with their identity. 

Hobbs has not been shy about using her veto power, with 52 vetoes of Republican-backed bills so far this year, including 10 more on Tuesday. Last year, she set an all-time record for vetoes, following her 143 last year.

Hobbs has repeatedly promised she would reject any anti-LGBTQ legislation. 

“As I have said time and time again, I will not sign legislation that attacks Arizonans,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter of the anti-trans bill. 

Senate Bill 1182, would have banned students from using multi-occupancy showers — at school or during school events — that don’t align with their biological sex. It would have also mandated that schools provide a separate, private shower room for students who are unwilling to comply with that rule. Students who do share a shower facility with someone of the opposite sex would be empowered to take their schools to court over “psychological, emotional and physical” harm. 

The bill is a revised version of a proposal that was vetoed last year that would have gone even further, barring trans and gender nonconforming students on school trips from the bathrooms, locker rooms, showers and sleeping quarters that best match their gender identity.

In a statement from Senate Republicans released shortly after Hobbs vetoed the bill, they accused her and all of the Democrats in the legislature who voted against the bill of waging a “war against women and girls.” 

They called transgender girls “biological males posing as females in our public schools.” But they didn’t mention in their statement whether they were concerned about transgender boys using the girls’ facilities, which they would be forced to do under this law unless they asked for other accommodations. 

“Girls should not be forced to shower with boys in our taxpayer-funded public schools. It’s utterly disgusting that Democrats, who are out-of-touch with reality, continue to push gender neutrality upon our children, endangering their safety and well-being just to politically platform off a small population they pretend to care about,” Republican Sen. John Kavanagh, the bill’s sponsor, said in the statement.  

The bill does not directly address anything related to gender neutrality

Kavanagh asked Arizona parents, women and girls to contact Hobbs and Democrats in the legislature to “push back against these injustices.” 

“Unfortunately, because of this partisan driven veto by our Governor, our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and neighbors will continue to be subjected to not only embarrassment, but sexual assaults and harassment in the event a boy who’s claiming to be a girl is allowed into their female-only showers,” the Fountain Hills Republican said. 

Transgender advocates deny that allowing trans students to use the facilities that align with their gender identities puts other students at risk of sexual assault, and at least one study backs that up. 

Another study found that when transgender students — who are already more likely than their peers to endure sexual assault —  have restricted bathroom and locker room access, they are even more likely to be sexually assaulted.

click to enlarge Gov. Katie Hobbs
Gov. Katie Hobbs struck down 10 bills on Tuesday, including another anti-LGBTQ+ bill that she said "attacks Arizonans."
Matt Hennie
Hobbs vetoes elections, divestment bills

Other bills on Hobbs’ veto list included one that would allow for increased outside observation of election procedures, and one that would force any publicly managed funds to divest from any investments held by a foreign adversary. 

In her veto letters, Hobbs wrote that current law already allows for election observers, and that the divestment bill had the potential to hurt the state economically. 

Hobbs also signed 12 bills on Tuesday, including a Republican bill that would force a shorter timeline for precinct committeemen and county supervisors to appoint a replacement if a state legislator resigns — especially if they leave a vacancy during the legislative session. 

There were several vacancies in the legislature earlier this year after multiple Democrats resigned, leaving the party with fewer votes and constituents in those districts without representation for too long, proponents of the bill previously said.

Hobbs also signed a Republican-sponsored bill that would force municipalities to make quicker decisions on zoning applications in an effort to bolster new residential building amid a housing shortage of around 270,000 in Arizona. 

SB 1162 cuts the unnecessary government red tape, responsible for prolonging approvals on zoning applications needed for home construction to begin, by requiring local governments adhere to reasonable timelines to help expedite the homebuilding process in an effort to increase supply and lower prices,” Senate Republicans said in a statement. 

This story was first published by Arizona Mirror, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.
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