This Tuesday, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR) signed a new law that effectively bans transgender bathrooms in public schools — House Bill 1156.
“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,” the Associated Press reports. “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.”
The bill itself states, “a reasonable accommodation shall not include access to a restroom or changing area that is designated for use by members of the opposite sex to an individual while members of the opposite sex of the individual are present or may be present in the restroom or changing area.”
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The bill defines sex as “the physical condition of being male or female based on genetics and physiology,” adding that “a public school district or open-enrollment public charter school may rely upon a public school student’s sex as identified on his or her original birth certificate issued at or near the time of his or her birth.”
Arkansas joins a growing list of states that have enacted similar laws. This is undoubtedly a critical issue with wide-reaching implications — and Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders seems to understand that.
“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,” Governor Sanders’s spokeswoman Alexa Henning said in a statement reported by PBS News. “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates.”
The law will not take effect until 90 days after the Arkansas State Congress adjourns — which will not take place until next month at the earliest, as PBS News reports.