LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ Republican attorney general and lawmakers have unveiled legislation that would prohibit transgender athletes from playing in girls’ and women’s sports teams at schools.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Monday said she wasn’t aware of any instances of transgender athletes playing on school sports teams, but called the legislation a preemptive effort in response to an executive order President Joe Biden signed that prohibited discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere.
The draft legislation is titled “The GIRLS Act” (Gender Integrity Reinforcement Legislation for Sports Act) and seeks to protect access to athletic opportunities for girls and women in K-12 and post-secondary institutions, said a release from Rutledge’s office.
“If passed, it would ensure fair competition by limiting girls’ sports to girls and women’s sports to women in as evidenced by an original birth certificate,” Rutledge’s release said.
The lead sponsors of the bill are Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View and Rep. DeAnn Vaught of Horatio.
Similar legislation has been introduced in at least 20 states so far this year. A similar measure was approved in Idaho but blocked by a court.
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