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LGBTQ advocates have spoken out on a flurry of Arizona bills

By Kirsten Dorman
Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - 9:14am
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - 9:15am

Lizette Trujillo stands behind a podium to speak. A sign on the front of the podium reads, "complete protection for all."
Kirsten Dorman/KJZZ
“My child deserves equality and deserves to be treated fairly in this world,” LizetteTrujillo, a Tucson mom, said.

With just one more week to secure committee hearings, Arizona  legislators are keen to have their bills heard. LGBTQ advocates have spoken out on a flurry of bills. Two of those measures are at the center of the conversation now.

One House bill, HB 2703, would add LGBTQ protections to an existing non-discrimination state statute.

Lizette Trujillo is a Tucson mom. She says she never thought she’d see the day legislators would move to support transgender kids like her son, Daniel.

“My child deserves equality and deserves to be treated fairly in this world,” Trujillo said.

Daniel Trujillo, 15, says he finds it refreshing to see supportive bills introduced.

“I’m living proof that loving, supporting and caring for your trans loved ones is always the right thing to do,” he said.

Daniel Trujillo sands behind a podium to speak. A sign on the podium reads "complete protection for all."
Kirsten Dorman/KJZZ
“I’m living proof that loving, supporting and caring for your trans loved ones is always the right thing to do,” said Daniel Trujillo, 15.

That bill is not on any committee’s agenda yet. Jeanne Woodbury with Equality Arizona says attention also should go to pushing back on another measure called the “parents’ bill of rights.” It would restrict the decisions a minor, educators, and health care providers could make.
“It’s been installed in state statute,” Woodbury said. “And now the plan is to install that in the state constitution.”

This means the bill, SCR 1025, would not be up for veto by Gov. Katie Hobbs. Woodbury says LGBTQ parents have always had a stake in ensuring parental rights. But she worries the measure could give extra weight to frivolous lawsuits and that it would be hard to take off the books once entrenched in the constitution.

“People miss that because of the way it’s written and the way it’s presented,” Woodbury said.

Woodbury says that for this session, she’s optimistic to see bills that would address issues like the housing shortage pass and help the LGBTQ community in other, more material ways. One measure, SB 1062, would expand the ability of minors in certain circumstances to consent to accepting housing-related services.

“Unhoused youth are really, disproportionately LGBT because of family rejection,” she said. “So this is a bill that really helps the LGBT community."

And even if bills that explicitly support the LGBTQ community don’t pass this session, she says she doesn’t see it as a total loss.

“The same way that these negative bills still have an effect even if they don’t become law it can be really helpful to still do the work of introducing positive legislation to say, ‘Look, there are things we could be doing that are helpful,’" Woodbury said.

Politics Gender Social Justice