Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation Tuesday that bans transgender individuals from using the public school bathroom of their choice.
Arkansas is the first of several states expected this year to pass such measures.
BREAKING: Arkansas bans transgender people from using school bathroom of their choice, likely first of several states this year – AP
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 22, 2023
BREAKING: Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed a law prohibiting transgender people at public schools from using the restroom that matches their gender identity, making Arkansas the fourth state to enact such a restriction. https://t.co/AaCOGlWqU6
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 22, 2023
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AP had the story:
The bill signed by the Republican governor makes Arkansas the fourth state to place such restrictions at public schools, and it comes as bills in Idaho and Iowa also await their governor’s signature. And it might be followed by an even stricter Arkansas bill criminalizing transgender adults using public restrooms that match their gender identity.
Arkansas’ law, which won’t take effect until later this summer, applies to multi-person restrooms and locker rooms at public schools and charter schools serving prekindergarten through 12th grade. The majority-Republican Legislature gave final approval to the bill last week.
“The Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them and believes our schools are no place for the radical left’s woke agenda,” Alexa Henning, Sanders’ spokesperson, said in a statement. “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates.”
Similar laws have been enacted in Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee, although lawsuits have been filed challenging the Oklahoma and Tennessee restrictions.
ABC News added:
The proposals are among a record number of bills filed to restrict the rights of transgender people by limiting or banning gender-affirming care for minors, banning transgender girls from school sports and restricting drag shows. Transgender people have also faced increasingly hostile rhetoric at statehouses.
Another bill pending in Arkansas goes even further than the North Carolina law by imposing criminal penalties. That proposal would allow someone to be charged with misdemeanor sexual indecency with a child if they use a public restroom or changing room of the opposite sex when a minor is present.
The new Arkansas law requires schools to provide reasonable accommodations, including single-person restrooms. Superintendents, principals and teachers who violate the prohibition could face fines of at least $1,000 from a state panel, and parents could also file private lawsuits to enforce the measure.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed legislation in 2021 banning transgender athletes from women’s sports.
Bill Signed by Arkansas Governor Bans Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports
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