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Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill into law on Tuesday that bars transgender people from using multiple-person restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity in public and charter schools within the state.
Arkansas is the fourth GOP-led state to institute such a restriction on access to restroom facilities.
Critics warn that this law could be made even more extreme with the passage of a pending bill that would make it a crime for transgender adults to use public changing facilities that are in line with their gender identity, USA Today reports.
Sanders is unapologetic about the government-enforced bigotry she and other Republicans are endorsing nationwide.
“The Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them and believes our schools are no place for the radical left’s woke agenda,” a Sanders spokesperson said in a statement. “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates.”
Oklahoma and Tennessee restrictions have been challenged in lawsuits, while Idaho and Iowa bills are awaiting signatures from their governors. However, similar regulations have already been passed in Alabama.
The new Arkansas law is expected to go into effect 90 days after this year’s session concludes, which isn’t expected until next month.
Under the law, schools must provide reasonable accommodations for transgender people, including single-person restrooms.
If a district, principal, or teacher violates the law, a state panel may fine them at least $1,000, and parents could file private suits to enforce it.