Arizona GOP lawmakers hope to block gender affirming care coverage for state workers

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - 3:27pm
Updated: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - 5:41pm

Ben Toma
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Ben Toma in 2017.

The state’s top Republican lawmakers are trying to keep Arizona from being obligated to pay for gender-affirming surgery for its employees and dependents.

Lawmakers are trying to keep a federal judge from solidifying the deal with a consent decree.

Four years ago, University of Arizona professor Russell Toomey sued to require the state to cover the costs for a hysterectomy. He said the procedure was medically necessary due to gender dysphoria. 

In June, Gov. Katie Hobbs signed an executive order directing the Department of Administration to remove language that exempted “gender reassignment surgery” from state-covered health care policies.

Now, House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen filed to block a federal judge from signing the deal. 

They argue a 2022 state law bans “irreversible gender reassignment surgery” on anyone under 18. 

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