What is happening with all of the anti-trans bills at the 2022 Arizona Legislature? UUJAZ Executive Director, Janine Gelsinger, was asked to speak at the UUA's national event, the spring Social Witness Convening about exactly that.
The Commission on Social Witness is the UU body that lifts up Actions of Immediate Witness for a vote each year at General Assembly, and reports on how UUs are taking action on AIWs throughout the year.
The Action of Immediate Witness: Defend and Advocate with Transgender, Nonbinary, and Intersex Communities reminds us that our faith has publicly called for transgender-affirming actions for over three decades and trans, nonbinary, and intersex people are a cherished part of Unitarian Universalism. It goes on to highlight the fact that in 2021 over 100 anti-trans U.S. state laws have been proposed, particularly targeting trans youth and trans people with the least power, enabling discrimination in sports, health care, education, birth certificates, and beyond, and at least eighteen bills have been passed in nine states.
Unitarian Universalists are called upon by this AIW to strongly condemn all anti-trans legislation. Several presenters on the Social Witness Convening call elaborated on the targeting of trans people in their regions, and organizing to resist it. Janine shared about UUJAZ efforts here in Arizona, in partnership with a statewide coalition of LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, to affirm and support trans rights at the local and state level.
As it happened, she was speaking on this topic on the same day that Gov. Ducey signed into law bills restricting gender-affirming care and access to school sports for trans athletes. Expressing the grief and anger that go along with hearing about this terrible result, there were also successes Janine was glad to uplift. In particular, the city-by-city support UUJAZ and partners worked to cultivate for non-discrimination policies helped to garner bipartisan support for a non-discrimination bill in the Arizona legislature.
You can check out the full video below (trans justice AIW presentations are from 34:53 to 1:06:02).