Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signs executive order to protect state LGBTQ employees as first official act

The new governor of Arizona kicked off her first 100 days in office by strengthening anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ state employees and contractors.

Katie Hobbs signed her first executive order on Monday, shortly after getting sworn in, directing state agencies to guarantee protections in all aspects of state employment.

Executive Order 2023-01, titled “Protecting Employment Opportunity,” reinforces federal non-discrimination laws and affirms Arizona’s commitment to offering equal employment opportunities to all.

“Today marks a new era in Arizona, where my Administration will work to build an Arizona for everyone,” the Democrat said as she launched her “First 100 Days Initiative,” which will focus on Hobbs’ top policy priorities.

The executive order, which also includes provisions in all new state contracts to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, underscores “Hobbs’ dedication to ensuring that every Arizonan has an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce,” her office said in a statement.

LGBTQ rights advocates applauded the move, calling the signing of the executive order “an important step” towards fulfilling promises she made during her campaign.

“[Hobbs] ran on the promise that she would immediately act to stop the attacks on Arizona’s LGBTQ+ individuals and families and use the full extent of her power to protect our community,” Bridget Sharpe, Arizona state director of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

The former Arizona secretary of state won a tight race against Republican Kari Lake, a Trump-backed former television anchor, who lost by about 17,000 votes.

Lake later filed a lawsuit arguing that widespread misconduct in Maricopa County resulted in her loss to her opponent, but a judge rejected her claims.