The Arizona state legislature has passed legislation that restricts transgender athletes from competing in women’s and girls’ sports as well as limits access to transgender treatment for minors.
It is unclear if Republican Governor Doug Ducey will sign the bills, however.
As the National Review noted, while both transgender athletes in women’s sports and transgender treatments for children have been some of top policy interests for the Republican Party, Republican governors in states like Utah and Indiana have vetoed similar legislation.
“This bill to me is all about biology,” said Republican Rep. Shawnna Bolick of the bill protecting women’s and girls’ sports, according to the Associated Press. “In my opinion, it’s unfair to allow biological males to compete with biological girls’ sports.”
Bolick, who played on a coed team during her time in school, noted that she never could have made the boys’ team.
As for the bill restricting transgender treatment for children, supporters compared it to previous legislation passed by Arizona’s House which banned genital mutilation.
“We should stand the same way today because this is mutilation of children,” said Republican Rep. John Kavanagh. “It is irreversible. It is horrific.”
Originally, the bill sought to ban all so-called “gender affirming” treatments for minors, as other more conservative states like Arkansas have done.
However, the National Review noted, it was revised to be limited only to irreversible procedures such as mastectomies.
In the case of both bills, critics claimed that they unfairly targeted struggling children.
“We’re talking about legislating bullying against children who are already struggling just to get by,” said Democratic Rep. Kelli Butler, which the AP noted was “fighting back tears.”
“We’re talking about our kids, who are already going to be taking the proper steps with their parents to be able to be who they are,” said Democratic Rep. Andres Cano of the restrictions on gender treatment.
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