The office met with community leaders on how it could protect LGBTQ+ people in the coming legislative session.
Hobbs's Challenge to AZ GOP: Any bills targeting queer people will "meet my veto stamp."
Hobbs spoke at a gala this weekend for LGBTQ+ youth: "With me as your governor, you have not just an ally, but a champion."... A new "Eyes on the State"... and our next Listening Session is March 30.
LOOKOUT relies on subscriptions and donations to keep our news free and consistent. For every $100 raised, we provide five people access to local queer news they won’t find anywhere else. Consider a donation today.
Governor Katie Hobbs this past Sunday re-pledged her support to the state’s queer community, saying at a benefit brunch event that any bill passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and House will “meet my veto stamp.”
Hobbs made her comments in support of the community at the Fresh Brunch event at the Marriott at Desert Ridge, hosted by the LGBTQ+ youth nonprofit group One n’ Ten. The nonprofit made the governor, who also used to volunteer with the nonprofit, an honorary chairperson at the gala.
Hobbs said that the LGBTQ+ community, “particularly trans children, are under attack” in the state, with multiple bills targeting trans children and drag queens sailing through legislative committees and passing both chambers through party-line votes which Republicans hold a slim majority.
“As we speak, there are a number of bills moving through our legislature that seek to do everything from regulate the pronouns use in our schools, to which bathrooms people are allowed to use,” she said. “This is scary and dangerous.”
Though Hobbs has promised to veto harmful and bigoted legislation aimed at curbing (and in some cases completely eliminate) the rights and existence of queer people in the state, she said she only handles the politics. Much of the work needs to be done on a community level, she said.
“We cannot rely solely on legislation to create real change,” she said. “We must also work to shift the cultural attitudes and beliefs that underlie discrimination and prejudice. That means challenging harmful stereotypes and promoting empathy and understanding. That means calling out hate when we see it and holding people, no matter how powerful they are accountable for their words and actions or lack thereof. It also means not being afraid to display symbols of support and affirmation.”
In 2019, Hobbs was forced to take down a pride flag from her office by the state legislature, and mentioned how that sent a message that LGBTQ+ people were not welcome.
As a bit of a tit for tat, Hobbs promised that this year’s pride month—which nationwide is historically in June, but this year’s Phoenix Pride Festival will be held in October—will be a larger celebration than in years before: “Just wait until you see what we have planned to celebrate.”
One n’ Ten Chief Executive Officer Nate Rhoton spoke at the gala after Hobbs, and echoed her statements on the continued attack in the legislature against queer youth, specifically.
“Statements of intolerance combined with the increase in anti-LGBTQ bills, sends a direct message to our youth of unacceptance and rejection of who they are at their core,” he said.
“Times were different than the 90’s. When One n’ Ten was founded…”Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act”, were passing in the United States Congress. Marriage equality was not even on the radar issues impacting the trans community, we're simply not discussed. We have come so far. Where we stand today, in many ways, though, feels like a backslide into darker times. ”
-Nate Rhoton, CEO of One n’ Ten at this year’s Fresh Brunch, held on Sunday, March 19 at the Marriott Desert Ridge.
EYES ON THE STATE
LOOKOUT's 'Eyes on the State' is brought to you by an exclusive partnership with Equality AZ. Check here every week to see what's being proposed by lawmakers, who are the state power brokers, and context for current and upcoming bills.
Mark your calendars! On March 30, LOOKOUT will be holding its second semi-regular listening session. Get your tickets here and be notified this week when a location is determined.
On March 22, EqualityAZ has their weekly social hour at Brick Road Coffee from 6-9 p.m.
On March 25, Crescent Ballroom is hosting “The Funky Latina Music Festival.” Learn more here.
On March 25, Tempe Beach Park is hosting the Aunt Rita’s AIDS Walk Arizona Festival & 5k from 10-4 p.m.
On April 1-2, the Phoenix Rainbows Festival will be held at Heritage Square. Come find us to get some free swag!