How a conservative senator seeks to hamper the LGBTQ+ movement
John Kavanagh, a conservative state senator, continues his ambitions to restrict rights of genderqueer people. We spoke to him about his latest bills.
Last week, we reported on the religious exemptions outlined in one of the state’s newest proposed bill, SB1001, which aims to reduce the ability for genderqueer students to express themselves.
The sponsor of that bill, John Kavanagh from Fountain Hills, is also taking the bill a step further, by also trying to eliminate nicknames of people, unless they are derivatives of their name assigned at birth.
Kavanagh has a long history of proposing bills that erode — and in some cases altogether eliminate — the civil rights of queer people across Arizona.
That history goes back well over a decade, to when he proposed (and failed) to change how trans and gender nonbinary people use the bathrooms in the state.
Aside from SB1001, Kavanagh has also proposed a new bill — under the guise of protecting children — that would limit drag queen performances in front of children, despite almost all drag queen performances being in bars or other opt-in venues, such as Phoenix Pride, The Rainbows Festival, and other public events.
Still, Kavanagh has continued his push to eliminate drag from the public sphere. LOOKOUT spoke with the senior Senator, to try and understand why he continues to push these bills, specifically SB1001. Below is a transcript of the phone call that has been edited for brevity, and clarity.
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