Who is Katie Hobbs? Where does she stand on LGBTQ+ rights?

Katie Hobbs is a blonde and grey haired white woman in a blue blazer
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) Photo: WHSV-TV

With a background in public service and social work, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has long been an LGBTQ+ ally. She has more recently made headlines for endorsing Arizona’s Abortion Access Act and vetoing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, but let’s delve into her history of queer allyship.

Katie Hobbs Snapshot:

  • Location: Arizona
  • Current Position: Governor of Arizona
  • Party Affiliation: Democratic Party
  • Race/Ethnicity: White
  • Gender Identity: Female
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • LGBTQ Ally: Yes

Social Media:


Born as a twin on December 28, 1969, Hobbs graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1992 and graduated from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in social work in 1995.

With her background training in issues of domestic violence, mental health, and homelessness, Hobbs served as the chief compliance officer for the Sojourner Center, a large domestic violence shelter. She also served on the Phoenix Women’s Commission and the Phoenix Human Services Commission and participated in political leadership training programs with Valley Leadership, Emerge Arizona, and the Center for Progressive Leadership.

Voters elected Hobbs to serve in the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and elected her to serve in the state Senate in 2012, re-electing her in 2014 and 2016. Hobbs served two terms as minority leader in 2015; during that time a Black Senate staffer accused Hobbs and other Senate leaders of firing her after she complained about racial and gender-based discrimination in the legislature.

Hobbs became Arizona’s secretary of state in 2018 and was narrowly elected to become Arizona’s governor in 2022 after winning 50.3% of the vote against her far-right anti-LGBTQ+ opponent, Kari Lake.

Hobbs married Patrick Goodman in 1996. The couple has two children.

Katie Hobbs’ stance on LGBTQ+ issues

Gov. Hobbs has been a vocal advocate for the rights and protections of the LGBTQ+ community in Arizona and was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in 2022. She has enacted several executive orders to advance equality and ensure that all Arizonans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated with dignity and respect.

Same-Sex Marriage

In June 2022, she commemorated the 2015 legalization of marriage equality via X, writing, “Seven years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, making it official that #LoveIsLove. Never thought we would be back in a time where this most basic human right is once again under threat.”

Her 2022 post was likely in response to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s suggestion of overturning the court’s previous decisions on gay marriage and consensual same-sex sexual relationships.

In 2016, Hobbs sponsored a bill to update all references in Arizona state law from “husband and wife” to “married couple” or “spouse.” In 2015, Hobbs posted about her excitement and support for same-sex marriage while attending an HRC event. She also made other posts celebrating marriage equality advancements before then.

Same-Sex Couples’ Right to Adopt

Hobbs supports same-sex couples’ right to adopt as long as they pass the required background checks, according to isidewith.com. In April 2022, she criticized then-Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) signing of Senate Bill 1399, a law that allows taxpayer-funded third-party child welfare agencies — including adoption, foster care, and family reunification agencies — to discriminate based on religious beliefs.

In a November 2023 post, Hobbs wrote, “On National Adoption Day, we commit to ensuring all Arizonans in the foster care system are treated with kindness, love, and fairness. Together, let’s support every kid and family in Arizona, raise awareness of adoption and its benefits, and guarantee our most vulnerable residents are cared for.”

Trans Children in Sports

In June 2023, Hobbs vetoed a bill that would’ve banned trans students from accessing the correct locker rooms and restrooms at school.

While serving as Arizona’s secretary of state, Hobbs went on record opposing two anti-trans bills that were signed into law by then-Gov. Ducey. One of the bills included a law prohibiting trans youth from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity.

When asked about the bills in April 2022, Hobbs said, “This is exactly the opposite of protecting those kids.”

In a March 2022 post, she further posted her support for trans children, writing, “Bills preventing trans children from playing in sports or receiving gender-affirming care are detrimental to their mental and physical care and well-being. Trans children deserve dignity and respect—this shouldn’t be up for debate.”

LGBTQ+ Discussion in Schools

While Hobbs hasn’t publicly commented on other states’ laws banning LGBTQ+ content from schools, she has opposed several attempts to do so. In June 2023, she vetoed S.B. 1969, a bill against making sexually explicit content on school grounds, noting that the broadly written law was “a thinly veiled effort to ban books.” The bill would have extended a 2022 law that prohibits schools from referring to or using sexually explicit materials, making it apply to local libraries not affiliated with any schools.

Around March 2023, when state Senate Republicans passed a bill to ban any books mentioning gender fluidity or pronouns, Hobbs said that any such anti-LGBTQ+ legislation would “meet my veto stamp.”

In May 2023, she vetoed Arizona bill S.B. 1001, a bill that would require trans or non-binary students to obtain written parental permission to use pronouns and names matching their gender identity. In April 2023, she also vetoed S.B. 1005, a bill that would’ve allowed parents to sue school districts for enforcing LGBTQ+ supportive policies.

Transgender Access to Public Bathrooms

In June 2023, she vetoed S.B. 1040, a bill that would have banned trans students and school personnel from using school restrooms aligning with their gender identity.

“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. “I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.”

Discrimination protections

In June 2023, Hobbs issued two executive orders: one allowing state government employees to access all transition-related healthcare and another blocking state government funds from supporting any form of conversion therapy, a widely debunked form of psychological torture that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2017, she sponsored a bill to add LGBTQ+ protections to the state’s existing anti-discrimination laws. In 2014, Hobbs voted against a bill that would’ve legalized religious-based anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

Her campaign website said that her gubernatorial administration would “work to enact anti-discrimination policies that will ensure equality by explicitly banning LGBTQ+ discrimination in a variety of areas including housing, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, public accommodations, and procuring credit.”

“Katie will also work to pass a ban on profiling by law enforcement based upon race, gender identity, or sexual orientation and establish public metrics to track profiling,” her site added, according to GLAAD.

Katie Hobbs’ Career

  • Graduated from Northern Arizona University with B.A. in social work in 1992
  • Graduated from Arizona State University with M.A. in social work in 1995
  • Worked as chief compliance officer for Sojourner Center, a domestic violence shelter
  • Elected to Arizona’s House of Representatives in 2010
  • Elected to Arizona’s Senate in 2012, re-elected in 2014 and 2016.
  • Served two terms as minority leader starting in 2015
  • Elected as Arizona’s Secretary of State in 2018
  • Elected as Arizona’s governor in 2022

In conclusion

Gov. Katie Hobbs embodies the spirit of public service and stands as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. As a key figure in Arizona politics, her actions and stances are crucial to the direction of the state. She is a leader to watch in the fight for equality and justice.

Stay informed on her work and other LGBTQ+-related news by subscribing to the LGBTQ Nation newsletter.

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