Arizona Lawmakers Introduce Two New Transgender Bills

Arizona House of Representatives(Photo: Wikipedia.com / Transgender Universe)

The Arizona State Legislature has introduced two bills aimed at helping transgender people.

The two proposed bills will make it easier for transgender and non-binary applicants to accurately identify themselves on state issued documents. One of the bills will allow Arizona residents to choose a third non-binary option on drivers licenses. The second bill would require a person's death certificate to reflect their gender identity.

HB 2492

Introduced by Phoenix Rep. Ken Clark, House Bill 2492 would offer driver's license applicants a third gender option, "non-binary," to indicate they don't identify within the gender binary (male or female). It would allow non-binary Arizonans the right to be recognized under state law.

The bill proposes that an applicant choosing the non-binary option would only have to supply a signed affidavit stating that they identify as non-binary as satisfactory proof of their gender.

"One, you should simply have the right to identify how you identify,” Clark told azcentral.com. “But I also think there's a practical element: If you’re at the hospital and you’re unconscious, and the doctor can see on your ID that you might identify in a different way, that may help indicate treatment."

HB 2582

Introduced by Green Valley Rep. Rosanna Gabaldón (D), House Bill 2582 would require death certificates to reflect gender identity when it appears to conflict with a person's anatomy.

The proposed bill states:

“In any documentation of the decedent's sex on the death certificate, the person completing the death certificate shall record the decedent's sex to reflect the decedent's gender identity. The decedent's gender identity shall be reported by the person completing the death certificate unless the person completing the death certificate is presented with one or more documents that memorialize the decedent's gender transition. If such a document is provided, the person completing the death certificate shall record the decedent's sex as that corresponding to the decedent's gender identity as indicated in that document. If more than one document is presented and the documents conflict regarding the decedent's gender identity, the most recent document that memorializes the decedent's gender transition prevails.”

"I want to be able to say that Arizona’s on the front lines of recognizing diversity," Gabaldón said. "I want to see a time when we can look back at this and wonder why anyone had a problem with it."

Nearly 70 percent of Arizona respondents in the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which focused on transgender and non-binary people, said they did not possess an official document with their preferred name and gender.

Both bills have yet to receive a committee hearing.

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