Hobbs Vetoes Parental Rights Pronoun Bill

May 23, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

After a period of relative peace between Arizona Legislative Republicans and Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs, her veto pen has again enflamed the political division between the two sides.

On Monday, Arizona Senator John Kavanagh announced that Governor Hobbs had vetoed SB 1001, relating to school policies about pronouns and biological sex. According to Kavanagh’s release, his bill “would have prohibited a school district or charter school from knowingly referring to students under the age of 18 by a pronoun that differs from the child’s biological sex, or a first name that is not listed in school records;” and it “would have also prevented schools from requiring their staff to use a pronoun that differs from a person’s biological sex, if doing so is contrary to their own personal convictions.”

Kavanagh blasted Hobbs for her veto, saying, “Parents have a right to know if their children are in psychological turmoil. Parents also need to know if their children are confused, depressed, anxious, isolating themselves, having suicidal thoughts or are in need of mental health care because of gender dysphoria. Parents can’t get their children the counseling or therapy needed if their school is hiding this information from them. Additionally, if a child is receiving mental health care and that child’s physician advises not to treat the child as a different gender, then a school going against the doctor’s wishes without the parent’s permission would create reason for a lawsuit. This is a dangerous situation for children who are struggling with mental health issues. For the Governor to turn a blind eye to what’s happening is reckless and irresponsible. I would expect more from a former social worker.”

Last week, Hobbs transmitted a veto letter to the Arizona Senate, explaining her justification, writing, “As politicians across the country continue to pass harmful legislation directed at transgender youth, I have a clear message to the people of Arizona: I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children. I want to thank the young people that bravely testified against SB 1001 at the Legislature. To you, I promise to be an ally and to uplift your stories. Additionally, I would like to thank Representative Lorena Austin for telling their story and speaking their truth. I would like to reemphasize their words to all the young people of the state, ‘You have every right to be who you are.’”

After the Arizona House of Representatives passed the bill last week, Janae Stracke from Heritage Action issued a statement in support of the Legislature’s efforts, writing, “As the Left continues to push radical gender ideology in schools and strip parents of their right to know what their children are learning, it’s time for parents and legislators in Arizona to start fighting back with common sense. By passing SB 1001, legislation that ensures school systems obtain parental consent before changing a student’s name and pronouns and protects school employees from violations of their religious or deeply-held beliefs, the Arizona Legislature upheld parental rights across the Grand Canyon State.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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