Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday signed a law banning transgender women and girls from competing in school sports teams consistent with their gender identity, making the state the second to approve such a restriction so far this year.
“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,” Hutchinson said in a statement released by his office. “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.”
Mississippi’s governor signed a prohibition into law earlier this month.
The law comes at pressure from different quarters over the undue advantage where a biological male who now identifies as a female is allowed to compete in female competitions. It is obvious that their biological built as males gives them advantage over biological females. That this is even a question of contention truly reflects upon us the times we are living now.
Activists have condemned the legislations as dangerous precedents being set that would allow for discrimination against those who chose to identify differently to their biological identify when it comes to sports.
“This law is a discriminatory and shameful attempt by politicians to stigmatize and exclude transgender teens,” American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said in a statement.
A final vote is also expected next week on legislation that would ban gender confirmation surgery or treatment for minors.