Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a law banning transgender women and girls from competing in school sports on any teams consistent with their gender identity, making Arkansas the second state to approve such a restriction this year.
According to the New York Post, the measure was approved by the Republican governor despite protest from medical and child-welfare groups that it would have devastating impacts on transgender youth.
“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,” Gov. Hutchinson said in a statement released to the media. “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,” his statement continued.
Hundreds of college athletes are now urging the NCAA to refuse to hold championships in any state that has enacted this ban.
The head of the nation’s largest LGBTQ rights groups, the Human Rights Campaign, called Gov. Hutchinson’s decision “an affront not just to the transgender kids it is bound to hurt but to all Arkansans who will be impacted by its consequences.”