We’re not sure why this story from Arizona was picked up by NBC4 Washington, but we have a good idea; the Arizona director of the Human Rights Campaign called Gov. Doug Ducey’s responses to questions from the press “appalling” and probably sent out a national press release. In any case, the way NBC4 Washington is framing is that Ducey “won’t say that transgender people exist.” If Ducey truly doesn’t believe that there are “actual transgender people,” he’s wasting his time signing legislation to keep trans women and girls from competing in women’s and girls’ sports.

Bob Christie reports:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey refused to say Thursday if transgender people actually exist, twice dodging direct questions on the subject just a day after he signed legislation limiting transgender rights.

The Republican worked instead to defend his signatures on bills that bar transgender girls and women 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.

“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.

Again, nice framing from the reporter there, using the language of “gender-affirming surgery” for minors and saying the new law “targets transgender girls.” How about saying the law protects girls from having to compete against biological males?

New headline: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey refuses to answer “gotcha” questions, instead discusses legilsation.


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