March 30, 2022

GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to Governor Doug Ducey’s signing of two discriminatory laws in Arizona, banning transgender youth access to school sports and banning transgender youth access to lifesaving medical care. Ducey announced via Twitter that he had signed both SB 1138 and SB 1165 early Wednesday afternoon.

Statement from GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis via Twitter and here:
"These two discriminatory and unecessary laws put already vulnerable youth in more danger, and threaten the health and safety of all children in Arizona. Gov. Ducey and lawmakers who passed these bills did so against the advice of experts in medicine, sports, education and child development, and put their state at economic risk. Republican lawmakers have called such bills ‘vast government overreach’ blocking a child from healthcare that could save their lives and from healthy activities that every child should be able to enjoy. These laws hurt all children and Arizona’s future as a place to grow and succeed.”

Joint Statement from Equality Arizona and ONE Community (excerpt):
Both these bills are solutions looking for a problem. Like other leaders around the country, the Governor has forgotten that he has a duty to govern for all Arizonans. These draconian laws will harm transgender children, adults, and their families. These draconian laws will harm the reputation of Arizona - we cannot be a state where everyone is welcome and valued if our elected leaders allow discrimination to be the law of the land. You can't be pro-business and pro-discrimination. [The full statement can be read here].

Statements from Republican governors and lawmakers who have rejected similar legislation in their states:

Statements from every major medical association supporting gender-affirming care as safe and lifesaving, and supporting trans youth access to sports in their authentic identity:

GLAAD Guide for Media Covering anti-LGBTQ Legislation here: seek facts from experts in sports, education and medicine over opinions from public figures; include LGBTQ voices in all stories about LGBTQ issues; include context about bills’ impact on vulnerable youth.

Additional research to include in your coverage:

  • Women athletes overwhelmingly support trans inclusion. In December 2020, nearly 200 leading women athletes including Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, and Candace Parker submitted a legal brief urging support for trans women and girls in sports and opposing anti-trans sports legislation and policies. In 2021, GLAAD and Athlete Ally released a letter signed by over 550 college athletes (mostly women) who demanded the NCAA pull events from states with anti-trans school sports bans.
  • The International Olympic Committee released guidelines in November 2021 to prioritize safety and inclusion for transgender people, after consultation with medical, legal, sports and human rights experts, and determined that “no athlete has an inherent advantage over another due to their gender identity, sex variations, or appearance.”
  • 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth — and two-thirds of all LGBTQ youth (66%) — say debates in the states restricting rights of transgender people negatively impacted their mental health.
  • In multiple states proposing legislation in 2021, lawmakers could not cite a single instance of trans inclusion in sports being an issue in their states. Media should continue to ask public figures for evidence of specific problems in their states.
  • Media should check bill language for how proponents propose to enforce the bills, including whether there are required anatomy screenings that hurt all children.
  • Anti-LGBTQ legal groups (classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center) support these bills, often with identical language state to state. A designated hate group, ADF, has filed lawsuits using demonstrably false claims to attack transgender inclusion in state-level bills.
  • There are no reported instances of transgender students “taking scholarships” from other student athletes. Anyone claiming this should be asked for evidence.
  • Research shows participation of girls in sports overall is higher in states with trans-inclusive policies.

2022 is already a record-setting year for state legislation targeting LGBTQ people, with more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills proposed.

  • Freedom for All Americans tracks anti-LGBTQ legislation across the U.S.
  • Polls show wide support for laws protecting LGBTQ people - 76%. Less than one in five Americans (19%) oppose nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans. 


About Equality Arizona: Equality Arizona’s mission is to build the political power of the Arizona LGBTQ community for our full inclusion in the social, economic, and civil mechanisms of our society.

About ONE Community: ONE Community is the coalition of businesses, organizations & individuals moving diversity, inclusion & equality for all Arizonans forward.