An Arizona bill that would require transgender people to use the bathrooms of the sex listed on their birth certificates and other documents has been signed into law by Gov.
The bill is the latest example of President Donald Trump’s efforts to pass and enforce policies that have drawn swift condemnation from LGBTQ advocates.
The Arizona bill, AB 654, was introduced in 2017 by State Rep. Chris Holbrook and passed the Arizona House last year but was blocked by a veto by Govs.
Doug Baca and Doug Dicken.
But last week, the state Senate passed AB 656, which was approved by the House last week.
The legislation also authorizes the state’s Department of Public Safety to issue guidance for state law enforcement on how to handle transgender people and requires that police officers in the state adhere to a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.
AB 664 was signed into the Arizona Legislature on Tuesday.
The governor’s office confirmed the bill had passed the House, but did not provide additional details.
Holbrook said he was happy to see it become law.
“It is a big step in the right direction, and I’m pleased that Arizona has finally made this an issue,” Holbrook told The Associated Press by phone.
“This is a step toward a larger and more inclusive state.”
Holbrook’s bill would prohibit the state from denying or rescinding an individual’s rights because of their gender identity, but would not require police officers to enforce the state law, which is not yet in place.
Holborn, who is openly gay, said he has been approached by people wanting to come forward and help in the fight against the law, but is not ready to do so.
Holberg told the AP he would like to see the law expanded to include other forms of discrimination, like housing discrimination.
Holberton’s bill is similar to a measure passed by the Arizona legislature last year.
That law, House Bill 1062, would have prohibited the state of Arizona from enforcing a law that “in any manner discriminates based on gender identity.”
The law was vetoed by Baca, who told the Arizona Republic he would veto any law that he believed would be used to discriminate against transgender people.
Holbrot said the bill passed both houses by wide margins, but it could have been more easily defeated.
“We’re getting some good support from both houses of the legislature,” Holbroton said.
Holbreton’s legislation would not be the first to require that people use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identities.
Several other states have enacted similar legislation in recent years, including California, Mississippi, New Jersey and North Carolina.
A similar bill passed in New York earlier this year, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, an advocacy group, has urged other states to enact similar laws.
“There’s been a lot of pushback from the public and from LGBT people in the last couple of years, but this is something that is very much in line with the transgender community,” Holbret said.
The AP’s Mary Louise Kelly contributed to this report.