GLAAD today called on media to focus attention on House Bill 2706, a dangerous anti-trans bill introduced by Republican Rep. Nancy Barto which has now made it to the Arizona Senate after passing through the House of Representatives on March 3. GLAAD is working to elevate ways to take action against the bill with local activists on the ground in Arizona.
House Bill 2706, branded as the “Save Women’s Sports Act”, bans transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. HB 2706 would require that “an interscholastic or intramural athletic team or sport that is sponsored by an educational institution in Arizona must be based on biological sex.” The bill also states that if disputed, an athlete would be forced to establish their sex through a genetic test from a doctor, with public disclosure of results, in order to continue participating. The law would apply at both public and private schools, including community colleges and universities, and could also affect cisgender (non-transgender) athletes for who are speculated to be transgender based on a number of inaccurate and concerning factors.
VIDEO: Arizona state representative Alma Hernandez speaks out against HB 2706:
VIDEO: Arizona state representative Daniel Hernandez spoke out against HB 2706:
TAKE ACTION: Call President of the Arizona Senate Karen Fann at 602-926-5874 to kill HB 2706.
OPPOSITION TO THE BILL:
So far, over 200 local and national businesses have signed onto a letter in opposition to HB2706, including American Airlines, Arizona School Boards Association, the Arizona Diamondbacks, GoDaddy, PayPal, Salesforce, and Uber. The letter is organized by Arizona-based organization ONE Community – a coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations, and individuals who are moving diversity, inclusion, and equality forward for all Arizonans.
During the House hearing, Democratic Rep. Kirsten Engel said, “The impact will not be to protect women’s sports, instead it’s gonna make women’s sports a total battleground of lawsuits.” She continued: “It’s gonna bring people out of the corners of the field to cast accusations — the liability here is so broad that I have very severe concerns that some schools will find some excuse to — simply not have games.”
Rep. César Chávez has also spoken out against the bill on Twitter, stating that he will “continue to fight for the defeat of this hateful legislation” as it heads to the Senate:
Yesterday, members of the Republican party consciously voted to infringe on the rights of #transgender children. Once again, attacking the #LGBTQ community. HB2706 makes it’s way to the Senate where I will continue to fight for the defeat of this hateful legislation. pic.twitter.com/UYhsHgQrlI
— Rep. César Chávez (@RepCesarChavez) March 4, 2020
Out country singer Brandon Stansell shared GLAAD’s post on Twitter, calling on people to call President of the Arizona Senate Karen Fann at 602-926-5874 to kill HB 2706:
— Brandon Stansell (@brandonstansell) March 7, 2020
Other LGBTQ celebrities and activists including Jazz Jennings (and her mom, Jeanette Jennings), Ryan Cassata, Geena Rocero, Chase Strangio, Phillip Picardi, Shane Michael Singh, and Johnny Sibilly also shared GLAAD’s tweet on their own social media.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis also spoke out today: “Republican state representative Nancy Barto’s so-called “Save Women’s Sports Act” is not about helping girls or women; it is about harming young transgender students in Arizona in cruel and dangerous ways that will also affect cisgender students,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “As activists and politicians who oppose the bill have argued, this bill is part of a systematic attack on the protections of transgender people, and continues to promote the false narrative that transgender youth are somehow threats in their communities, including in sports. Trans students around the country have shown that is a blatant lie.”
House Bill 2706 is one of many anti-trans bills introduced in State legislatures across the U.S. this year, with many targeting trans inclusion in sports. As of March 2, 2020, there have been at least 21 state bills introduced with the goal of excluding transgender youth from athletics, in states including Alabama, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, and more.
Earlier this year, GLAAD also worked with Arizona-based organization ONE Community and other local activists to spotlight national attention on Arizona State Bill 1082, which attempted to require teachers to instruct LGBTQ students to be abstinent. After amplifying the news to a national level, the bill was ultimately killed.