Transgender Rights Are Under Attack in These 11 States
Ashley Dejean from Mother Jones recently interviewed EQAZ board member on current legislation.
This is an excerpt from her story, Transgender Rights Are Under Attack in These 11 States.
Arizona: HB 2293, HB 2294
Transgender people already cannot get sex reassignment surgery under Arizona’s Medicaid system. Now, state Rep. Anthony Kern’s (R-Glendale) HB 2294 would formally codify that reality into law, which transgender rights advocates worry could make accessing the surgery even more difficult in the future.
Kern also introduced HB 2293, which would prohibit people who are incarcerated from getting sex reassignment surgery. “Any medical procedures that doctors deem are medically necessary for particular individuals to treat their gender dysphoria should be covered by insurance of every kind,” Abby Jensen, vice president of Southern Arizona Gender Alliance and a board member of Equality Arizona, told Mother Jones. “There is no reason to single out transgender people for that exclusion, especially when the procedures that we’re talking about are commonly paid for by the same insurance plans for other conditions.”
Jensen’s also troubled by another piece of legislation, SB 1199, that would require people seeking to change their name to undergo a criminal background check. The sponsor of the bill says it “would not make it easier or harder” for a transgender person to get a name change and is intended to keep people from masking their criminal history. But Jensen worries the legislation could have a disproportionate impact on transgender people: “Because of discrimination and bias against trans people, we are arrested and incarcerated at much higher ratesthan the general population,” she said. “A criminal background check could give judges an excuse to deny a name change petition.” While such a denial may be reversible on appeal, Jensen adds, “very few trans people have legal representation and there are no LGBT legal advocacy organizations currently active in Arizona.”