To no one’s surprise given the transgender bigotry that exists in Arkansas politics, Governor Hutchinson has signed Sen. Missy Irvin’s legislation to prohibit transgender girls from participating in girls’ athletics, including at the college level.
To date, no such thing has occurred in Arkansas.
A Connecticut girl runner complained about transgender girl competitors several years ago, though she ultimately defeated them and won a college scholarship (they did not). A similar law has been struck down by a federal judge in Idaho. A movement is underway to encourage the NCAA not to hold championships in states with such laws, just as it withdrew from North Carolina over a bill discriminating against transgender people in use of restrooms.
The governor’s statement:
Today, I have signed into law SB354 called the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’. I have studied the law and heard from hundreds of constituents on this issue. I signed the law as a fan of women’s sports from basketball to soccer and including many others in which women compete successfully. This law simply says that female athletes should not have to compete in a sport against a student of the male sex when the sport is designed for women’s competition. As I have stated previously, I agree with the intention of this law. This will help promote and maintain fairness in women’s sporting events.”
Transgender girls are girls under federal law. Hutchinson has signed a bill in the name of fairness where none has been compromised until now, with the transgender girls he’s potentially harmed.
Next up for his signing is the bill to allow medical workers and insurance companies to refuse services on moral grounds, another bill aimed at protecting discrimination against LGBT people. It will join other bills he’s either signed or allowed to become law that allow a religious pretext to justify discrimination against LGBT people and to prevent cities and counties from passing civil rights ordinances that protect LGBT people.
Waiting in the wings is another Irvin bill, with backing from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, that would also prohibit transgender boys from participating in boys sports. They would have to compete with girls.
Also headed to likely passage is a bill, also of questionable constitutionality, to prohibit medical services for transgender minors. The governor has declined to speak negatively about the bill, despite its likely negative impact on UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and numerous other providers of services to a tiny minority of people who already face immense difficulties.
Shame on us all.
As a mother wrote in a blog post I mentioned this morning:
In a small sense of fairness to the Arkansas demagogues, the non-existent problem of transgender people is a national Republican go-to issue. Rep. Dan Crenshaw has made it a focal point of his advertising, for one particularly egregious example of a mountain made out of a molehill of abused and often suicidal children.