CHANDLER, Ariz. - Just a week ahead of the start of pride month, students who support LGBTQ rights held a rally in Chandler, protesting the lack of a nondiscrimination ordinance in the city.
They also rallied against recent laws passed in Arizona, one banning gender-affirming surgeries for transgender youth under the age of 18 with lawmakers saying the law is about protecting children from irreversible surgery, and the other law bans transgender girls from playing sports that align with their gender identity in all public schools.
Students say they need protection.
"I'm out here to support my rights as a transgender and pansexual youth," a student said. Another added, "I'd like to see a lot more bills that help protect us in our schools and stop the discrimination because it does affect queer youth."
One of the students says slurs are thrown around while on campus.
"If you're seen at school showing any affection toward one another, there are people coming up calling us slurs," a student explained.
The city of Chandler released a statement saying, in part, "Community members are now engaged in an extensive assessment of the city's current and future diversity equity and inclusion efforts."
It also describes the ongoing work of Chandler Pride, a nonprofit that supports the LGBTQ community.