Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law on Thursday a bill banning transgender female-identifying athletes from participating in women’s sports.
The new law, meant to preserve the integrity of female sports and protect girls and women from competing against biological males, comes amid a push by state legislatures to enact similar protections.
“Today, I have signed into law SB354, called the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’ I have studied the law and heard from hundreds of constituents on this issue. I signed the law as a fan of women’s sports from basketball to soccer and including many others in which women compete successfully,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “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. 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.”