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Arizona ranks among worst states in the nation for transgender rights

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona ranked among 23 states across the nation that have enacted more laws that harm, rather than help, transgender people, a recent study from the Movement Advancement Project found.

Arizona is one of the states that does not have a state law protecting members of the LGBT community from discrimination. About four percent of Arizonans identify as LGBT.

But five cities in Arizona have approved ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity: Chandler, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Tempe.

Abby Jensen of the advocacy group Equality Arizona said she was not surprised by Arizona’s poor performance in the study.

“Arizona lacks protections for LGBT people in all parts of day life, both private and public,” Jensen said.

The study took into account laws that fall into six categories, including marriage and relationship recognition, adopting and parenting, non-discrimination and the ability for transgender people to change their name on identity documents.

While the state has many improvements to be made in order to protect LGBT individuals, Jensen admitted that Arizona does make it easy for transgender individuals to change their gender on their state driver’s licenses or IDs.

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