The Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson signed a bill on Thursday which will now ensure that female athletes in the state are not forced to compete with biological males in sports.
The passing of the bill in Arkansas comes in the wake of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem sending a similar bill back to her state legislature and refusing to sign it, using the excuse that she believed that the restrictions would open up the state to litigation from the NCAA.
It appears Hutchinson has no such qualms about protecting women’s sports.
As The Daily Wire reports:
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Thursday a bill banning transgender female-identifying athletes from participating in women’s sports.
The new law, meant to preserve the integrity of female sports and protect girls and women from competing against biological males, comes amid a push by state legislatures to enact similar protections.
“Today, I have signed into law SB354, called the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’ I have studied the law and heard from hundreds of constituents on this issue. I signed the law as a fan of women’s sports from basketball to soccer and including many others in which women compete successfully,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “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. 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.”
GOP lawmakers in at least 20 states have introduced similar legislation this year, according to The Associated Press. Such states are reportedly under pressure by activists and organizations such as the NCAA to avoid implementing such bans. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem recently declined to sign a similar bill and sent it back to the legislature to exempt college sports.