Gov. Asa Hutchinson has indicated he’d prefer to see the legislature come and go without a “bathroom bill” to discriminate against the handful of transgender people who’d like to use restrooms that comport with their sexual identity in peace.
Such legislation has cost North Carolina millions and Arkansas already has on the books, thanks to the last legislature and the governor, laws that are aimed at preventing anti-discrimination laws at the local level and giving people a religious pretext to discriminate against LGBT people. Similar laws are part of the cause of North Carolina economic woes — and unseating of its governor — though nobody has paid much attention to Arkansas so far.
That could change. Republican Sens. Greg Standridge of Russellville and Gary Stubblefield of Branch today filed SB 346, a shell bill “concerning gender identity and bathroom privileges.”
You may be sure that whatever details are eventually to come, neither Republican senator has a balm in mind for a tiny, misunderstood and wrongly vilified minority.
The Trump administration’s retreat from Obama administration support of transgender people undoubtedly encourages state level actors. The governor, by the way, is no friend of LGBT rights, but he thinks it’s a problem not in evidence in Arka nsas and thus not in need of legislation
UPDATE: Gov. Asa Hutchinson reiterated in a statement that he saw no need for the investigation. He called it “unnecessarily and potentially harmful.”