Arizona Republican introduces 'Women's Bill of Rights'

Arizona Sen. Sine Kerr, R-Buckeye, introduced legislation that she hopes will protect women.

Opponents say the bill would erase Arizona's LGBT community.

Senate Bill 1628, dubbed "Arizona Women's Bill of Rights," gives clear definitions for men and women, boy and girl, as well as mother and father, to make sure it is about one's biological sex. As a result, the bill would replace "gender" with "sex" in state law.

Kerr said the bill "enshrines truth into law" at a news conference on Tuesday.

Notably, it also adds that settings like public schools need to accommodate single-sex spaces like locker rooms and bathrooms, which need to be kept that way.

"Laws should be based in objective reality and uniform for all Arizonans," Kerr said in a statement. "Men and boys have been encroaching on girls' and women's private spaces, like locker rooms and showers, as well as sports teams, robbing women from athletic opportunities and putting them in danger as they face physically stronger males in competition. SB 1628 supports women and girls in their rights to privacy, fairness, and safety on the playing field."

The bill is aimed at ensuring transgender individuals, specifically biological men who now identify as transgender women, are not in spaces common in athletics.

"With more than 3.5 million women living in the state, this bill would have an incredible impact in providing scientifically sound protections for women and their personal spaces," Paula Scanlan, a former swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement in support of the bill.

"Having experienced firsthand the injustices of inviting males into women's private areas and allowing them to steal athletic accolades from young ladies dedicating their lives to their chosen sports, I know the incredible importance of having legislation that stops these reckless new norms," Scanlan said, noting that she shared a locker room with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas while at UPenn.

Those opposed to Kerr's bill call it the "LGBTQ+ Erasure Act" because, according to Bridget Sharpe, the Human Rights Campaign's Arizona lead, it is inspired by people who want to erase LGBTQ+ people – particularly transgender and nonbinary – from public life.

girls playing soccer by Kyle Pham is licensed under Unsplash

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