Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation into law on Tuesday that will prohibit transgenders in public schools from using bathrooms that correspond with the gender they identify as rather than their biological sex.
The Associated Press hysterically reported on the bill, saying:
Transgender people at Arkansas public schools would not be able to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity under a bill lawmakers sent to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday.
The bill approved by the majority-Republican House applies to multi-person restrooms and locker rooms at public schools and charter schools serving prekindergarten through 12th grades. The House, which approved an earlier version of the bill last month, passed the bill on a 77-15 vote without any debate.
Similarly, Holly Dickson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, said, “By requiring schools to police student’s restroom usage and forcing trans youth to use restrooms that do not align with their gender identity, this bill creates a hostile and discriminatory environment that could lead to exclusion, harassment, and bullying.”
Joining the ever-woke ACLU was Paul Castillo, senior counsel and students’ rights strategist for Lambda Legal, who denounced the bill and said, “They’re singling out transgender people for no other reason than dislike, disapproval and misunderstanding of who transgender youth are. And the entire school population suffers as a result of these types of bills, particularly schools and teachers and administrators who are dealing with real problems and need to focus on creating a welcome environment for every student.”
In passing the law, Arkansas is joining Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. A spokesperson for Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the bill would protect children in a statement, saying, “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. Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates.”
The AP added that Republicans, both those who passed the bill and who were against it, had low expectations of what it would amount to and mainly expected that it would stop people from being in the restroom as children of a different sex. In that outlet’s words:
Republican Sen. John Payton, the Arkansas bill’s sponsor, called the measure narrowly crafted since it would only apply when minors are present and acknowledged it would be difficult to prosecute someone for violating the restriction.
“I just don’t see this as being the bill that stops people from going into the wrong bathroom,” Payton said before the vote. “Hopefully it just limits it to when children are present.”
But Sen. Joshua Bryant, the only Republican who voted against the bill, said the measure would allow someone to be prosecuted regardless of their intent. He compared it to charging someone with armed robbery if they took a concealed handgun into a building where it’s not allowed.
Regardless, the bill is at least a sign that red states are starting to rev up and begin fighting the culture war by passing bills that excite the base and infuriate their enemies.
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