TUCSON SENTINEL: AZ GOP Bill Would Strike ‘Gender’ From State Law, Limit Sex to Male & Female

by | Feb 7, 2024 | In The News

In a significant move to champion women’s rights and ensure fairness in competition and in intimate spaces, Senator Sine Kerr, R-Buckeye, introduced SB 1628. This legislative effort, known as the “Arizona Women’s Bill of Rights,” seeks to protect the integrity and equality hard-earned by women and girls by preventing males who, by simply identifying as female, gain access to sports, scholarships, and other exclusive benefits intended for women and girls. Sen. Kerr was quoted in the article found on Tucson Sentinel, written by Lillie Bourdreaux:

“Women’s and girls’ hard-won equality is threatened when males identifying as female are permitted to take women’s places,” she said. “Males should not be eligible for sports, scholarships or any other benefits that have been, for legitimate and important purposes, set aside specifically for women and girls.”

The bill defines a person’s “sex” as his or her biological sex – male or female – for all purposes of state law. In addition, it defines sex-based terms like “woman,” “girl,” “man,” “boy,” “mother,” and “father.”

It also helps protect women’s and girls’ safety and privacy by making clear that the state has an interest in preserving single-sex spaces.

Paula Scanlan, a former collegiate swimmer who was forced to compete against Lia Thomas (formally William Thomas, a man claiming to be transitioning), advocated for SB 1628. From the article:

“This is not hypothetical, this is real,” Scanlan said at a news conference outside the state Capitol. “I know women who have lost roster spots and spots on the podium. I know of women with sexual trauma who are adversely impacted by having biological males in the locker room without their consent.”

Scanlan’s testimony highlights real consequences of not having clear sex-based distinctions, including loss of opportunities and the gross discomfort of sexual assault victims sharing spaces with biological males. Bourdreaux writes:

Scanlan, who said she was sexually assaulted in 2016 before her time at UPenn, said having to share a locker room with a transgender woman can be particularly difficult for assault victims.

Despite the clear intentions behind SB 1628, its passage faces significant hurdles, notably the likelihood of a veto from Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, who has previously opposed legislation that protects women and girls. Despite this, Sen. Kerr is optimistic:

“I’m hopeful that we’ll have bipartisan support because of what it does and how it protects women and girls,” Kerr said. “I think that that’s a bipartisan issue that we can all wrap around.”

She said the bill does not change current law or create restrictions on anyone’s legal rights.

“This does not preclude anything with the trans community,” she said. “What this law does is that it clarifies the definitions, this is a definitional bill, and it clarifies the definitions already currently in state law.”

Read the full story here.

In The News

AZ FREE NEWS: ESA Program Saw Significant Growth In 2023

In an article published on AZ Free News, Daniel Stefanski writes that Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program, led by John Ward, has seen remarkable growth in its first year, with enrollment increasing from 13,400 to 72,500 students in 15 months. This...

Share This