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Arizona GOP moves to block gender-affirming care for state employees

Republican lawmakers have moved to keep the state from being obligated to pay for gender-affirming surgery for employees and dependents.

Gov. Katie Hobbs signed an executive order in June that directed the Department of Administration to remove language that exempted gender reassignment surgery from state-covered healthcare policies.

House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen recently filed a motion to block a federal judge from signing the deal.

They say the decree can’t happen due to a 2022 law signed by then-Gov. Doug Ducey, which bans “irreversible gender reassignment surgery” on anyone younger than 18.

But an attorney for the ACLU Foundation of Arizona told Capitol Media Services it’s too late and described the motion as a “trojan horse” that only highlights the legislators’ hostility toward gender-affirming care for political gain.