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Arizona Governor Signs Two Executive Orders Covering Sex Change Procedures, Banning Support For ‘Conversion Therapy’

  Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs  signed  two executive orders Tuesday that would mandate health insurance to cover sex change surgeries for s...

 Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs signed two executive orders Tuesday that would mandate health insurance to cover sex change surgeries for state employees and ban state funds from going toward “conversion therapy” for minors.

The Democrat announced the executive orders at a news conference with One-n-ten, an organization that claims to “serve LGBTQ youth,” offers overnight camps for “LGBTQ youth” aged 11-24, and warns parents against “conversion therapy” promoted by “religious leaders.”

“Together these executive orders bring an end to unjust discrimination against LGBTQ+ Arizonans,” Hobbs said. “The state is leading by example on this issue, and we will continue working until Arizona is a place where every individual can participate equally in our economy and our workforce without fear of discrimination or exclusion. This is the only way to move our state forward.”

E.O. 2023-12, concerning sex change procedures, reversed policies implemented in 2017 by Hobbs’ Republican predecessor, Doug Ducey, which banned health insurance plans from covering the procedures for state employees. The new policy would require the plans to cover the procedures.

The executive order also ended a years-long legal challenge to Ducey’s prohibition, where trans-identifying woman and professor at the University of Arizona Russell Toomey sued the state, claiming it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The executive order also cites the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, where Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Court’s liberals to hold that the Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination because someone identifies as transgender. 

The executive action also restricts the Arizona government from cooperating with civil or criminal cases in states that prohibit such procedures. This includes bans on sharing information in a criminal investigation and extraditing those charged for prescribing sex-denying treatment to minors.

In 2022, Arizona became the second state to ban sex change surgeries for minors, but providing them with hormones and puberty blockers is still legal.

E.O. 2023-13 prohibits state funds to go toward “conversion therapy” for minors, which includes “any practice or treatment that seeks … to change an individual’s non-heteronormative sexual orientation or non-cisgender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expression.” The order goes on to insert a qualification that it “does not include gender-affirming care.”

The order, titled “Protecting Young People from Conversion Therapy,” states that “LGBTQ+ individuals, including young people, experience discrimination and bias, including in accessing healthcare services” and claims that trying to alter homosexual behavior or transgender identity in minors increases the risk of suicide.

Some therapists warn that bans on so-called “conversion therapy” can stifle dissent on the gender identity debate and target religious therapists and parents, who seek to instill conservative values in their children.

A comprehensive ban on “conversion therapy” passed in 2022 in Canada could lock up violators for five years if they “repress non-heterosexual attraction or … behavior,” The Daily Wire previously reported.

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