Arizona GOP votes to restrict transgender sports, surgeries

FILE – The Arizona House of Representatives gathers during a legislative session at the Capitol in Phoenix on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. The Arizona Legislature voted to ban gender-reassignment surgery for minors and sent the bill to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday, March 24, 2022.

PHOENIX (AP) – The Arizona Legislature on Thursday passed bills to prohibit gender reassignment surgery for minors and prohibit transgender athletes from playing on girls’ sports teams, joining a growing list of Republican-controlled states Tried to restrict transgender rights as they gain more visibility in the culture. and society.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has not said whether he will sign the bill. This week two GOP governors lashed out at conservatives in their party and vetoed bills in Indiana and Utah that required trans girls to play on boys’ sports teams.

Republicans have said that barring transgender players from girls’ sports teams would protect the integrity of women’s sports, fearing that trans athletes would benefit.

Many points for transgender collegiate swimmer Leah Thomas, who won an individual title at the NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championships last week.

But there are few trans athletes in Arizona schools. According to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, since 2017, about 16 trans athletes have been exempt to play on teams that align with their gender identity, out of about 170,000 school-based athletes in the state.

“To me this bill is about biology,” said Republican Representative Shawna Bolik, who said she played on a coed team in the 1980s but couldn’t make a high school boys’ team. “In my opinion, it is unfair to allow biological men to compete with the sport of biological girls.”

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