LGBTQ+ Laws and Policies in Arizona and Nationwide
This page provides information on laws regarding LGBTQ+ individuals in Arizona, as well as some nationwide laws that affect LGBTQ+ people. For more information about LGBTQ+ laws and policies, see the HRC's interactive equality map.
Arizona Adoption Laws
Adoption laws vary from state to state and even sometimes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There is no federal legislation regarding same-sex adoption, but Arizona is one state that does allow same-sex adoption. There are currently only 16 states plus the District of Columbia that allow same-sex individuals or couples to adopt.
In Arizona, both single and couples same-sex adoption is permitted. There is no explicit prohibition against same-sex adoption because Arizona has not heard the issue yet.
Arizona Laws Regarding Transgender People in Sports
Unfortunately, the Arizona House of Representatives recently passed a ban on transgender students participating in girls’ sports. The hours-long debate on House Bill 2706 culminated in a party-line vote of 31-29, sending the measure to the state Senate. The Arizona measure would apply to K-12 schools, community colleges and state universities, but only to female teams. The bill would require female athletes to prove their biological sex with a signed doctor's note following genetic testing if another student athlete disputed it.
GLSEN also provides more information about transgender people in sports and inclusive policies.
Laws Regarding LGBTQ+ People in the Military
Laws regarding LGBTQ+ individuals in the military have a long and contentious history. "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) was the official United States policy on military service by LGB individuals, instituted by the Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994 and lasting until September 20, 2011. The policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual service members or applicants, while barring openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service. According to USA Today, "Despite the Trump administration's reinstatement of a ban on transgender service members that was repealed under President Donald Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, public support for LGBTQ-specific veterans is at a historic high."
On July 26, 2017, President Trump posted a series of tweets announcing that “[t]he United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” A month after the initial tweets, President Trump issued a formal memorandum detailing the ban and directing Secretary of Defense James Mattis to produce implementation recommendations, which he did in March 2018. Several lawsuits were files, but on January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the injunctions, allowing the Department of Defense to implement the ban while litigation continues, without issuing a ruling on the ban itself. The Administration began implementing the ban on April 12, 2019.
The military may grant waivers allowing transgender individuals to serve in accordance with their gender identity. See this recent NBC article about a Navy member granted a waiver.
Laws Regarding Intersex Individuals in the United States
Intersex people in the United States have some significant gaps in their rights, particularly in protection from non-consensual cosmetic medical interventions and violence, and protection from discrimination. Actions by intersex civil society organizations aim to eliminate harmful practices, promote social acceptance, and equality.
On Intersex Awareness Day (October 26) 2015, Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the United States Department of State for denying non-binary intersex navy veteran, Dana Zzyym, Associate Director of Intersex Campaign for Equality, a passport. On November 22, 2016, the District Court for the District of Colorado ruled in favor of Zzyym.
The regulations regarding the service of intersex people in the Military are vague and inconsistent due to the broad nature of humans with intersex conditions. The military as a whole does not officially ban intersex people from service but does exclude many based on the form of their status.
Arizona's LGBTQ+ Anti Discrimination Laws
Arizona provides only limited protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Several cities, including Phoenix and Tucson, have ordinances in place designed to protected LGBT people from discrimination.
According to the city of Flagstaff, "It is the policy of the City of Flagstaff to eliminate prejudice and discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression, in places of public accommodation and in employment."
The HRC provides a score sheet for Flagstaff regarding LGBTQ+ laws and policies.
Education laws regarding LGBTQ+ issues vary state by state. However, nationwide issues affect each state. Laws commonly referred to as No Promo Homo laws, according to GLSEN. are"local or state education laws that expressly forbid teachers of health/sexuality education from discussing lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) people or topics in a positive light – if at all. Some laws even require that teachers actively portray LGB people in a negative or inaccurate way." In April 2019, the Arizona State Legislator repealed this law in the state.
GLSEN's School Climate Survey is a report on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in the nation’s schools. The report includes information on LGBTQ+ middle and high school students’ experiences with discrimination, biased language, and availability and utility of supportive school resources.