The Arkansas House on Monday approved a
controversial bill that bars transgender girls and women from
participating in female sports.
The bill now heads to Governor Asa
Hutchinson, a Republican, who has spoken in favor of the measure's
objective but has not said whether he'll sign it into law.
According to the AP, the bill cleared
the Republican-led House with a 75-18 vote.
GOP Representative Sonia Barker, the
bill's sponsor, said that the bill was needed to create “a level
playing field for girls and women in our Arkansas schools.”
But Representative Tippi McCullough,
the top Democrat in the Arkansas House, said that such measures make
growing up more difficult for transgender teens.
“It's extremely hard to be a kid, and
if you're a transgender kid, your life's even hard,” said
McCullough, the only openly gay member of the Arkansas Legislature.
“Sports gives kids a place to belong, a place to be included, a
place to succeed or learn to deal with setbacks and work to overcome
comes just days after Mississippi's governor signed a similar bill
Dakota Governor Kristi Noem asked lawmakers to exclude college sports
in the bill they approved.
Republicans in at least 20 states have
introduced similar bills.
Arkansas' bill becomes law after five
days, excluding Sunday, without Hutchinson's signature.