Arizona lawmakers launch state’s first caucus for LGBT community members

Oct 12, 2017, 4:30 AM




PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers have launched the state’s first caucus that will address issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The move came on the heels of the 29th annual Coming Out Day, which took place on Wednesday.

The caucus is made up of four state legislators: Sen. Robert Meza, Reps. Daniel Hernandez and César Chávez and state legislator Tony Navarrete.

Hernandez, who represents District 2, said the lawmakers are “very excited” to launch this caucus in order to represent the state’s LGBT population.

“While we are really excited to be the face of this, we want to make sure we are not just representing the interests of gay Latinos, but also working to really bring to folks in the trans community, the bisexual and lesbian community by working with different stakeholders,” Hernandez said.

The caucus, Hernandez said, will focus on issues like employment discrimination and the state’s anti-LGBT laws, many of which were passed in the 1980s and 1990s at the height of the AIDs crisis. Those laws, he added, basically criminalized LGBT residents in Arizona.

One of the laws, for example, made it illegal to discuss LGBT people in a “healthy” or “positive” way in schools.

Hernandez said the caucus is ready to put up a fight for the LGBT community.

“It being the Arizona legislature, unfortunately, we’re going to do a lot of defense on trying to stop bills from going through,” Hernandez said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix Rescue Mission...

Phoenix Rescue Mission readies annual heat relief campaign

With the summer heat nearing, Phoenix Rescue Mission is launching its annual heat relief campaign to assist unhoused and at-risk individuals.

1 hour ago

(AP Photo)...

Northbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Shea Boulevard to close for 2 months

The northbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale is scheduled to be closed for approximately 60 days, starting Monday.

3 hours ago

Hildale, Utah, is pictured sitting at the base of Red Rock Cliff mountains, with its sister city, C...

Associated Press

Guilty plea by leader of polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border is at risk of being thrown out

A guilty plea by the leader of an offshoot polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border is at risk of being thrown out.

5 hours ago

Picture of the Mitsubishi Montero that Phoenix police suspect hit an 11-year-old girl in a crosswal...

Damon Allred

Hit-and-run suspect sought in Phoenix after injuring child walking in crosswalk

Officers are searching for a hit-and-run suspect who hit an 11-year-old girl walking in a school crosswalk on Friday, Phoenix PD said.

8 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

2 men die, another critically injured in south Phoenix shooting

Detectives are investigating a shooting that left two dead and another seriously injured in south Phoenix, police said.

10 hours ago

Rattlesnake activity...

Nick Borgia

Warmer temperatures leads to increased rattlesnake activity in the Valley

The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has seen an increase in rattlesnake activity in the Valley due to warmer weather.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Arizona lawmakers launch state’s first caucus for LGBT community members