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Another GOP Governor Signs Bill Barring Males from Competing Against Female Athletes

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday signed a law banning males from competing in girls’ and women’s school sports, making the state the second to approve such a prohibition 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, a Republican, 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.”

Republicans in at least 20 state legislatures have been pushing for similar measures this year. Mississippi’s governor signed one into law earlier this month.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem had initially said she would sign similar legislation sent to her but has since pushed for changes in the bill’s language.

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Arkansas’ law covers K-12 as well as collegiate sports.

The head of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBT groups, called Hutchinson’s decision “an affront not just to the transgender kids it is bound to hurt but to all Arkansans who will be impacted by its consequences.”

“Hutchinson is ignoring the ugly history of states that have dared to pass anti-transgender legislation in years past, and by doing so he is exposing Arkansas to economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation,” Alphonso David, the group’s president, said in a statement.

Do you think males should be allowed to compete in girls' and women's sports?

Only one state, Idaho, has enacted a law limiting participation in women’s school sports to women, and that 2020 measure is blocked by a court ruling as a lawsuit plays out.

Opponents have not said whether they plan legal action to block Arkansas’ ban, which takes effect this summer.

A final vote is also expected next week on legislation that would ban gender transition surgery or treatment for minors.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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