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Non-Biologist Ariz. Gov. Won’t Opine on Existence of Trans People

'These are permanent surgeries of reassignment that are irreversible, and those discussions can happen once adulthood is reached...'

(Headline USA) Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s refusal to say if transgender people actually exist roiled leftists and their media allies on Thursday, despite the fact that Ducey has no background in biology.

Ducey, who obtained a bachelor of science degree in finance from Arizona State University and previously served as CEO of the Scottsdale-based Cold Stone Creamery, twice dodged direct questions on the subject just a day after he signed legislation seeking protections for young children and biological females amid an onslaught of LGBT activism.

The Republican worked instead to defend his signatures on bills that bar transgender athletes from playing on girls high school and women’s college sports teams and barring gender affirming surgery for anyone under age 18.

When specifically asked if he believed that there “are really transgender people,” the governor paused for several seconds before answering.

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“I’m going to ask you to read the legislation and to see that the legislation that we passed was in the spirit of fairness to protect girls sports in competitive situations,” Ducey said, referring to the new law that targets transgender girls who want to play on girls sports teams. “That’s what the legislation is intended to do, and that’s what it does.”

Asked again if he believed there are “actual transgender people,” he again answered slowly and carefully.

“I … am going to respect everyone, and I’m going to respect everyone’s rights. And I’m going to protect female sports. And that’s what the legislation does,” Ducey said.

The deflection echoed the recent refusal of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to define during confirmation hearings what a “woman” was.

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Jackson used the “biologist” claim, which appears to have been devised by Democratic strategists as an ineffective counter to conservative demands that they “follow the science” on genetics.

Some conservatives have likewise leaned into the phenomenon.

Yet, the growing push to create ambiguities in gender roles has puzzled many but is fast becoming the latest cause célèbre in the Left’s identity politics grift, with President Joe Biden making several decrees for the so-called Transgender Day of Visibility on Thursday.

Ducey’s response was “appalling,” claimed Bridget Sharpe, the Arizona director of the Human Rights Campaign. “It’s quite shocking that he can’t even address trans people or even say that he thinks they exist.”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Sharpe obtained a degree in public relations from Northern Arizona University before leap-frogging into a career in activism with political campaigns and labor unions. There was no evidence of a background in biology.

The top Democrat in the state House, Rep. Reginald Bolding, called Wednesday “probably one of the darkest days we’ve seen in the history of Arizona.”

“With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Ducey has hurled Arizona backwards to its ugliest past,” Bolding said Wednesday. “And today, he put in jeopardy pregnant people, transgender youth in danger and curtailed voting rights for people of color.”

Bolding, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Criminal Justice and International Security, has a long history of community organizing and black activism, but not biology.

Social conservative groups and the Arizona Republican Party praised Ducey’s action. The Center for Arizona Policy, whose president shepherded the abortion and women’s sports bills through the Legislature, called it a victory.

“Thank you, Governor Ducey, for taking a bold stand for women athletes, vulnerable children, and the unborn by putting your signature on [the bills] in the face of intense opposition from activists,” Center for Arizona Policy president Cathi Herrod said in a news release she posted on Twitter.

She said the legislation protects the unborn, ensures a level playing field for female athletes and shows that “Arizona will do everything it can to protect vulnerable children struggling with gender confusion” by enacting the surgery ban.

Ducey said the surgery ban protects children from irreversible decisions.

“These are permanent surgeries of reassignment that are irreversible, and those discussions can happen once adulthood is reached,” he said.

The legislative push comes as RINOs like Ducey feel the sudden imperative to pivot back toward their Republican base.

Arizona joins 13 other states in enacting laws preventing transgender girls and women from playing on girls teams. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed a transgender sports ban in his state, saying it would harm transgender girls, but the Legislature overrode the veto. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb also vetoed a sports bill, but lawmakers hope to override his action as well.

Ducey in is the last year of his second term as Arizona governor and term limits bar him from seeking reelection. However, he leads the Republican Governors Association, which is charged with helping elect GOP chief executives in U.S. states.

Trump-endorsed conservatives like gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and current state Attorney General Mark Brnovich—who is running for the Senate seat occupied by Democrat Mark Kelly—seem poised to push the party in a more conservative direction after RINOs like ex-Sen. Jeff Flake and the McCain family have fallen out of party favor.

Wednesday’s signing of the two transgender bills and a third that bars abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy put Ducey right in the middle of two top issues national Republicans are highlighting in the runup to November’s midterm elections.

The American Civil Liberties Association has vowed to sue over the surgery ban. U.S. Supreme Court precedent currently says women have a constitutional right to abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy, although it is considering whether to uphold a 15-week ban enacted in Mississippi and may overturn Roe v. Wade, the controversial 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Ducey—who was criticized for capitulating to Soros-backed Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the 2020 election—also signed election-integrity legislation that minority Democrats said amounted to voter suppression by requiring longtime Arizonans to be thrown off the voter rolls if they did not prove their citizenship and residence location.

The Supreme Court last year upheld a slate of Arizona laws affirming secure elections following strong evidence that tens of thousands of mail-in ballots from places like Maricopa County could not be accounted for.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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