Arkansas AG, lawmakers introduce bill banning transgender athletes from female sports
Arkansas is the youngest state to try to pass a law banning transgender athletes from participating in sports that match their gender identity. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the bill a preventive effort. (AP / Jacquelyn Martin)
Arkansas legislature tabled a bill on Monday banning transgender athletes from competing on girls' and women's sports teams in schools across the state, according to The Associated Press.
Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the bill a preventive measure despite being unaware of transgender athletes competing anywhere in the state, following an order from President Joe Biden banning all gender identity discrimination in school sports.
"We don't want common sense to be overshadowed by so-called political correctness, and this bill will ensure the integrity of girls and women in sport," Rutledge told The Associated Press.
The proposed law would apply to both K-12 schools and universities in the state.
Other states have tried to pass similar bills
The Arkansas bill is ambiguous as 20 other states have tried to pass similar laws in the past few years.
So far, however, no state has successfully passed and implemented the law.
Idaho came closest with its Fairness in Women 's Sports Act last year. The state passed the bill, making it the first state in the country to do so despite a federal judge blocking the bill after the ACLU filed a lawsuit.
The Idaho bill banned transgender girls and women from participating in sports that matched their gender identity, and also allowed them to have their genitals checked if their biological gender changes. However, the law did not apply to transgender boys or men.
This law, of course, caused immense backlash. Many prominent athletes from around the sports world even wrote to the NCAA asking them to stop holding sponsored events there.
Tennessee currently has a similar bill in the state house, which Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, says is necessary or transgender athletes would "destroy" women's sport.
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