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Arkansas lawmakers send transgender sports ban to Gov. Hutchinson

A bill banning transgender girls and women from school sports teams consistent with their gender identity is headed to Gov. Hutchinson's desk.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A bill banning transgender girls and women from school sports teams consistent with their gender identity is headed to the governor's desk in Arkansas.

The state House on Monday approved the measure 75-18, sending it to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The Republican governor has not said whether he supports the measure. Republicans in at least 20 state Legislatures are pushing for similar measures. 

Mississippi's governor signed a similar ban into law earlier this month, and South Dakota's governor has asked for changes to a ban sent to her. Opponents have warned it could have devastating impacts on transgender youth.

Senate Bill 354 would prevent transgender girls from joining a girl's school, intramural or club sport.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge supported the bill saying:

"I introduced the GIRLS Act as a way to protect athletic opportunities for girls and women in Arkansas and keep a level playing field in sports and sports scholarships."

A third bill making its way through the committee would require teachers to call students only by the name on their birth certificate.

   

The Associated Press contributed to this article.