First Arizona lawmakers went after the immigrant community with SB 1070. Now they’re going after transgender people with SB 1045.
Last week, Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh (R) failed to pass a bill that would have prosecuted transgender people with a class 1 misdemeanor for using public restrooms that don’t match their birth sex. But late Wednesday a panel of Arizona state lawmakers voted to advance a softer bill that protects business owners from discrimination lawsuits if they forbid a transgender person from using a restroom or fitting room.
During seven hours of testimonies during Wednesday’s hearing, only one person testified in favor of the bill, according to the AP, while more than 200 turned out to testify in opposition.
Gay and transgender rights advocates say SB 1045 will lead to profiling and discrimination.
“This law not only gives business owners the right to profile and discriminate against transgender people, but encourages harmful ‘gender-policing’ of anyone who doesn’t look masculine or feminine enough,” said M. Dru Levasseur, a transgender rights attorney for Lambda Legal, in an email to Colorlines.com.
“Transgender people are targets for hatred and violence. To pass a law that carves out a license to discriminate is extremely dangerous,” Levasseur went on to say.
The racial inequality and wage gap also exists in the adult film industry.
Women of color in the pornography industry are paid half to three quarters of what white actresses tend to make.
In a New York Times essay published this week Dr. Mireille Miller-Young wrote that the greatest challenge faced by women who work in the pornography business, in addition to social stigma, is gender and racial inequality.
Women of color are paid half to three quarters of what white actresses tend to make, according to a 2007 NPR interview with Miller-Young. She went on to say this “reflects the ways in which black bodies have historically been devalued in our labor market since, you know, slavery to the present.”
She says this is also visible in the production of the types of films that black women appear in: they have a lower production value, less of the kind of market, and lower kind of values in how they treat the workers.
A commenter in the [Colorlines] comments section below that identified as an adult model has added even more context and says the unfair treatment goes far beyond adult models and actresses on screen:
“[People] never want to discuss the unfair treatment of dancers, models, escorts, directors, and all others who work in the sex industry who get less pay and expected to perform more extreme acts because of the color of their skin.”