PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey put out a statement on Twitter acknowledging transgender individuals after dodging reporter questions asking if transgender people actually exist.
At a news conference Thursday, he twice dodged the question just a day after signing legislation limiting transgender rights.
The Republican instead defended his signatures on bills barring 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.
On Friday, he released a statement on Twitter saying, in part, "Do transgender individuals exists? Of course they do."
While making the acknowledgment, Ducey cites the recently signed legislation on transgender rights.
The media is once again attempting to divide people. Yesterday I was asked an absurd and offensive question: Do transgender individuals exists? Of course they do. Read the signing letter I issued the day before this question was asked: https://t.co/62MiTGO57i pic.twitter.com/GScCBjvpDr— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) April 1, 2022
A common issue in the transgender community is the lack of acknowledgment from others on their existence and their gender identity.
The Arizona director for the Human Rights Campaign says Ducey's original refusal to acknowledge trans people exist is “appalling.”
The bills passed the Republican-controlled Legislature with no support from minority Democrats.