Local news: Bisbee, Mesa, Phoenix, Sedona, Tempe, Tucson

LGBT Rights in Arizona: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in November 2008. Arizona law does not address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Arizona does include sexual orientation as a protected group covered by its hate crimes law, but not gender identity.

Current challenges to Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban: Connolly v. Roche, Majors v. Horne.

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Arizona Flag Closeup

Ariz. lawmakers delay vote on tough transgender ‘bathroom bill’

Thursday, March 21, 2013
PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers delayed a scheduled debate over equal access rights after dozens of transgender people flooded the Arizona House of Representatives Wednesday to fight a proposed law that would have made it illegal for them to use the bathroom of their preferred gender. [ Read more → ]
Bisbee, Ariz. Source

Town poised to be first in Arizona to approve same-sex civil unions

Thursday, March 21, 2013
BISBEE, Ariz. -- The town of Bisbee, Ariz., is poised to become the first municipality in Arizona to legalize civil unions for same-six couples. [ Read more → ]

Debate looms in Arizona over use of restrooms by transgender people

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers have jumped in to the national debate over the rights of transgender people with a bill being debated Wednesday that would make it illegal for people to use public restrooms not associated with their birth gender. [ Read more → ]

Phoenix approves LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination law

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday evening approved a measure to expand the city's anti-discrimination law to include protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in city contracts, housing, employment and public accommodations such as restaurants. [ Read more → ]
Phoenix, Ariz.

Phoenix to consider expanding anti-bias law to include LGBT residents

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix city council is expected to vote this month on whether to expand the city's anti-discrimination ordinance to prohibit discrimination against its LGBT residents. [ Read more → ]
Steve GallardoPhoto: Cortney Bennett, Cronkite News

Arizona lawmaker’s bills seek equality for LGBT community

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
PHOENIX – Saying members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community deserve equal treatment under Arizona law, a Democratic lawmaker has introduced four bills addressing employment, adoption and marriage. [ Read more → ]
A then-pregnant Thomas Beatie in a 2008 photo.

Transgender man who gave birth hits snag in Arizona divorce proceeding

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
An Arizona man who gained national attention for giving birth after having a sex-change operation, has hit a snag in his divorce proceedings because the presiding judge has questioned whether the marriage was ever legal in Arizona because he is transgender. [ Read more → ]

Male students forced to hold hands as punishment criticized as bullying

Friday, November 30, 2012
MESA, Ariz. -- Two Arizona high school students were forced to hold hands in front of their classmates as punishment this week for fighting. Critics are calling the discipline a form of bullying because it subjected the students to taunting and name-calling, and evoked anti-gay sentiments. [ Read more → ]
Austin Head

Police: Assault on Phoenix men was an anti-gay hate crime

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
A Phoenix man is recovering from a late night attack last Thursday in what police are calling an anti-gay hate crime. [ Read more → ]
Kyrsten Sinema

LGBT candidate Sinema declared winner in Arizona U.S. House race

Monday, November 12, 2012
PHOENIX -- Democrat Kyrsten Sinema on Monday was declared the winner in the election to represent Arizona's Ninth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. [ Read more → ]

Cartoonist fired, student newspaper apologizes for anti-gay cartoon

Thursday, October 18, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Arizona Daily Wildcat, the student-run daily newspaper at the University of Arizona, has issued an apology and fired the cartoonist after publishing an editorial cartoon that critics said advocated violence against LGBT people. [ Read more → ]

U.S. Supreme Court to conference on Prop 8, partner benefits cases

Thursday, September 6, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court has set at least three cases related to marriage equality and same-sex partner benefits for conference on Sept. 24, including the federal case against California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Kyrsten Sinema

Bisexual woman wins Arizona congressional primary

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Openly bisexual candidate Kyrsten Sinema won a Democratic primary on Tuesday night and will advance to the November general election in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. [ Read more → ]

Gay former lawmaker Jim Kolbe gives ‘qualified endorsement’ to Romney

Monday, August 27, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. — Former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), who’s gay, offered his “qualified endorsement” of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, saying the candidate’s business background makes him a good choice for president. Kolbe noted that Romney needs to come along further on LGBT issues. [ Read more → ]

Arizona business executive fired for video criticizing Chick-fil-A

Friday, August 3, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A Tucson businessman was fired from his job on Thursday after posting a video online of himself in a Chick-fil-A drive-thru the day prior, in which he voiced his opposition to the company's CEO and the chain's financial support of anti-gay organizations. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)

Ariz. governor petitions Supreme Court to deny same-sex partner benefits

Monday, July 9, 2012
PHOENIX -- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that allows Arizona's state employees to keep their same-sex partners benefits, including health insurance. [ Read more → ]
Amelia Craig Cramer

Lesbian attorney elected first gay president of Arizona Bar Association

Monday, June 25, 2012
Lesbian attorney Amelia Craig Cramer, chief deputy attorney for Pima County, which includes Tucson, became president of the 16,900-member State Bar of Arizona on Friday, June 22, making her the first openly gay head of the organization. [ Read more → ]
Paul Babeu

Embattled gay, Republican sheriff drops bid for U.S. Congress

Friday, May 11, 2012
FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Paul Babeu, the embattled Arizona sheriff who came out as gay amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he had a relationship, has dropped his bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress, and will instead seek another term as sheriff. [ Read more → ]
River Flanary

‘Straight ally’ student denied prom queen run at Arizona high school

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. -- When you think of a high school prom, you probably imagine girls in beautiful dresses and guys in their tuxes, but a teenager says his rights were violated when a Tempe school told him he could not run for prom queen. [ Read more → ]

Phoenix LGBTQ center to offer high school curriculum for bullied, homeless youth

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
PHOENIX -- For the first time, Phoenix will have a functional LGBTQ youth facility that will include an alternative high school geared specifically towards lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students. [ Read more → ]

Phoenix mayor seeks ordinance to outlaw discrimination against gays

Saturday, April 7, 2012
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is looking to address gaps in the city's human-rights protections, and has assembled a group of aides and attorneys to draft an ordinance that would outlaw discrimination against LGBT residents. [ Read more → ]

Gay teen advocate to serve as diversity liaison in Phoenix mayor’s office

Saturday, March 24, 2012
PHOENIX -- An Arizona teen who spent several weeks in Washington last year to lobby Congress to make schools a safer environment for LGBT youth, is now working in the Phoenix mayor's office to help raise awareness about bullying and diversity. [ Read more → ]

Former boyfriend files $1 million claim against Arizona sheriff

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
FLORENCE, Ariz. -- The former boyfriend of embattled Pinal County, Ariz. Sheriff Paul Babeu has filed a $1 million notice of claim against the sheriff and the county. [ Read more → ]
Mitt Romney

Romney takes two GOP primary wins in Michigan, Arizona

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took two wins by coming out on top in the GOP primary in Arizona and — after initially lagging in the polls — taking victory in Michigan. [ Read more → ]
Paul Babeu

Outed Arizona sheriff ‘110 percent in the race for Congress’

Monday, February 27, 2012
The recently outed gay sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., says if he’s elected to Congress he’ll support pro-LGBT initiatives and help change perceptions lawmakers have about gay people, and that his election would be “very impactful and helpful” in changing “the views, perceptions, beliefs about who we are.” [ Read more → ]
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