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Arizona governor slams GOP legislature for trying to “harm children” as she vetoes anti-trans bill

Gov. Katie Hobbs
Gov. Katie Hobbs Photo: Gage Skidmore

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has vetoed a bill that would have banned transgender students from using the appropriate restrooms at school.

Republicans, who passed the bill in the first place, do not have the two-thirds majority required to overcome her veto in the legislature.

“S.B. 1040 is yet another discriminatory act against LGBTQ+ youth passed by the majority at the state legislature,” Hobbs wrote in her short letter explaining her veto. “As I stated in my veto letter for S.B. 1001, I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.”

S.B. 1040 would have required students to use the restrooms and locker rooms associated with their sex assigned at birth, no matter a student’s gender. The bill would have also allowed cisgender students to sue the school district if they see a transgender person of the same gender in the restroom with them.

Hobbs, who was elected to her position last fall over right-wing extremist Kari Lake, has made support for LGBTQ+ people a point of pride for her office. Last week she hung four large rainbow and transgender Pride flags from the balconies of the gubernatorial office suite. In 2019, as state secretary of state, she was forced by the legislature to take down her Pride flags during Pride Month.

In her letter, Hobbs referred to S.B. 1001, which would have required school employees to refer to students’ by the pronouns associated with their sex assigned at birth unless they get parental permission.

Republicans denounced Hobbs’s veto. Bill sponsor state Sen. John Kavanagh (R) said that Hobbs doesn’t understand the privacy needs of “innocent young girls.”

He said that he would try to get another bill passed next session that would be narrower and just focus on showers. “Hopefully she’ll respect the right of young girls to not be standing naked next to biological males who identify as females in the showers,” Kavanagh said.

Republicans hold narrow majorities in both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives, allowing them to pass numerous bills that the Democratic governor can veto. She has already vetoed 111 bills this year so far, according to AZ Central.

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