Letter to Arizona State Reps. Opposing AZ “Fairness for All Act”

Dear Speaker Bowers,

I write today in opposition to the Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans Act (HB 2802) in the hope you and your fellow co-sponsors will withdraw your support for the legislation. 

As you know, the Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans Act, akin to its federal counterpart, the Fairness for All Act (H.R. 1440), enshrines sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories under Arizona state statutes. 

HB 2802 attempts to temper this radical change in our laws, culture, and society with a religious liberty exemption for churches and religious institutions. The exemption drafted is insufficient to resolve the religious liberty and freedom of conscience concerns that are inherent to the Fairness for All project. The bill purports to be a compromise in the culture wars but will only guarantee further dissolution of our already-strained social fabric.

First, HB 2802 would codify self-evident falsehoods about human nature in state law. The bill is based on a progressive sexual ideology that rejects the fundamental truth that human beings are created as male and female with distinctions that run so deep that no physical, pharmacological, or surgical interventions can erase them. To affirm this is to embed in your state laws, which themselves serve to teach the people of Arizona, a lie about who they are at the most basic biological level. 

Second, the legislation assumes that the only citizens in need of protection from the consequences of this ideology once it is embedded in antidiscrimination law are religious. No Arizonan should be forced to live in a society that denies the biological differences of men and women. No Arizonan should be coerced by the government to act in accordance with falsehoods about human nature. No Arizonan should be denied the freedom to act on such heretofore uncontroversial propositions as:

  1. Female-only spaces should be off-limits to men who identify as women. 
  2. Female sports should not be destroyed by male competitors. 
  3. Parents or grandparents should not have the state legislature determining if they are “acting” in their “capacity” as parents or grandparents when it comes to making decisions for children under their care.
  4. Employers should not have to consider men who identify as women for positions they believe are otherwise best suited for actual women.
  5. Medical professionals should not have to remain neutral when it comes to harmful gender transition protocols and procedures for minors that violate their Hippocratic Oath. 

These are matters of security, fairness, privacy, and conscience for citizens across this nation, regardless of their religious beliefs. 

Third, the religious liberty protections offered in HB 2802 are wholly inadequate. They are based on the false notion that people only practice their faith in houses of worship or as part of religious organizations. These narrow “protections” for religious institutions contrast with the broad language and scope of the bill’s transgender nondiscrimination provisions, which would have a sweeping effect across our society. No doubt many religious Arizonans will find themselves victims of civil rights lawsuits for simply living out their faith in their communities should this legislation be enacted. Normal, decent Arizonans would be embroiled in conflict, labeled bigots by progressive activist mobs, and cast to the edges of our civil society by the passage of this bill. 

To be clear, we share the ostensible motivation of supporters of HB 2802–to treat all human beings with dignity and respect. But this bill fails to meet even that most basic standard.  It treats as bigots the millions of Arizonans who reject secular progressive orthodoxy in living out the God-given rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. 

Accordingly, we ask that you reexamine and remove your support for this flawed legislation and work to ensure that the Arizona legislature focuses on bills that strengthen our civil society instead of tearing it apart with untruths propagated by radical activists. 

Russ Vought
Citizens for Renewing America

Wade Miller
Executive Director
Citizens for Renewing America

Terry Schilling
Executive Director
American Principles Project

Jon Schweppe
Director of Policy and Government Affairs
American Principles Project

Andrew Roth
State Freedom Caucus Network


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