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Arizona governor won't say transgender people exist

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey gives his state of the state address at the Arizona Capitol, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Phoenix. Governor Ducey signed a series of bills Wednesday, March 30, targeting abortion and transgender rights, joining a growing list of GOP-led states pursuing a conservative social agenda.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is refusing to say if he thinks transgender people actually exist.

At a news conference Thursday, he twice dodged that exact question just a day after signing legislation limiting transgender rights.

The Republican instead defended his signatures on bills barring transgender girls and women from playing on girls high school and women's college sports teams and barring gender-affirming surgery for anyone under age 18.

The Arizona director for the Human Rights Campaign says Ducey's refusal to acknowledge trans people exist is “appalling.”

The bills passed the Republican-controlled Legislature with no support from minority Democrats.