Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, unable to get her bathroom bill out of committee, formally withdrew it Wednesday and it will go to interim study.
An AP report quotes her and other advocates of legislation to prevent transgender use of restrooms that don’t match their birth gender as indicating they hope to use the interim to demonstrate the “need” for the bill.
Good luck with that. After several years of national wrangling, supporters of such legislation have produced negligible evidence that there’s a problem in need of fixing.
Rep. Bob Ballinger’s quasi-bathroom bill — which masquerades as a clarification of the indecent exposure law — is hung up in the Senate Judiciary Committee where Collins-Smith’s bill perished. It isn’t scheduled to meet again. The bill will die there unless Ballinger can round up five members to sign the bill out for a floor vote. Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, the Republican who chairs the committee, has worked hard and openly to prevent passage of this legislation. His uncle, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has opposed the bathroom bill as damaging to Arkansas’s image, though he wasn’t quite so concerned in 2015.
Arkansas has two laws on the books from 2015 demonstrating legalized discrimination against LGBT people for those who care pro or con.