While a second trans sports ban advances to governor’s desk, bill that would have allowed teachers to misgender trans students fails in committee

LITTLE ROCK – The ACLU of Arkansas today released the following statement regarding the Arkansas General Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 450, Attorney General Rutledge’s proposal which would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports and threaten schools who refuse to comply with loss of funding. This is the second trans sports ban passed by the General Assembly this session. 

“Senate Bill 450 continues the onslaught of attacks against transgender youth in Arkansas, and with the full backing of the state’s chief legal official,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Like the previous trans sports ban, Senate Bill 450 does nothing to protect women or girls in sport – it is simply another attempt to banish transgender people from public places, and advance Attorney General Rutledge’s own self-serving political agenda. The Arkansas General Assembly has already inflicted terrible harm on trans youth, and we continue to hear from parents who are terrified for their children’s well-being. This needs to stop. We urge Governor Hutchinson to veto this harmful and unnecessary bill.”

Also on Wednesday, House Bill 1749, which would have allowed teachers to misgender trans students, failed in committee. 

“This bill would have brought gratuitous cruelty into the classroom, and its failure in committee shows that even in a catastrophic year for transgender rights, people can make a difference when they make their voices heard,” said Dickson. “We’re grateful to everyone who spoke out against this mean-spirited measure and prevented trans youth from being subjected to yet another cruel and discriminatory attack.”