LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have voted to expand the state’s new ban on transgender girls and women competing on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
The House on Wednesday approved the bill that allows the attorney general to sue schools for violating the ban.
The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He already signed legislation last month that allows schools or students that suffer “direct or indirect harm” to take a school to court for violating the ban.
In reaction to the vote, a representative from the Arkansas Civil Liberties Union released a statement saying:
“Senate Bill 450 continues the onslaught of attacks against transgender youth in Arkansas, and with the full backing of the state’s chief legal official,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Like the previous trans sports ban, Senate Bill 450 does nothing to protect women or girls in sport – it is simply another attempt to banish transgender people from public places and advance Attorney General Rutledge’s own self-serving political agenda. The Arkansas General Assembly has already inflicted terrible harm on trans youth, and we continue to hear from parents who are terrified for their children’s well-being. This needs to stop. We urge Governor Hutchinson to veto this harmful and unnecessary bill.”
The proposal is among several restrictions on transgender people’s rights advanced by Arkansas lawmakers.