PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona House voted Thursday to prohibit gender-reassignment surgery and was scheduled to vote later on a bill banning transgender athletes from playing on girls sports teams.
Arizona appears poised to join a growing list of Republican-controlled states looking to restrict transgender rights as they gain more visibility in culture and society.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has not said whether he will sign either bill. Two GOP governors this week bucked conservatives in their party and vetoed bills in Indiana and Utah requiring trans girls to play on boys sports teams.
GOP supporters said blocking transgender players from girls sports teams would protect the integrity of women’s sports, fearing that trans athletes would have an advantage. Many point to the transgender collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas, who won an individual title at the NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championship last week.
Until two years ago, no state had passed a law regulating gender-designated youth sports. But the issue has become front-and-center in Republican-led statehouses since Idaho lawmakers passed the nation’s first sports participation law in 2020. It’s now blocked in court, along with another in West Virginia.