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Arkansas defies pro-LGBTQIA federal rules, governor signs order enforcing transgender restrictions

After Joe Biden released a regulation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in health programs and activities, Republican governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, declared that the state will not comply with the anti-discrimination federal regulation.

Photo by Chase R. Smith from Pexels.com

Disunited States of America?

After the administration of US president Joe Biden released a regulation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in health programs and activities, the rightwing Republican governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, declared that the state will not comply with the anti-discrimination federal regulation.

The Biden regulation clarifies Title IX, sex discrimination law originally passed in 1972 to address women’s rights and applied to schools and colleges that receive federal money. This regulations bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, too.

Now turning discrimination into state policy, Sanders signed an executive order that mandates Arkansas schools to continue to enforce transgender-related restrictions, including:

  • Limiting people’s use of bathrooms only to those assigned at birth; and
  • Limiting pronouns transgender students can use.

“My message to Joe Biden and the federal government is we will not comply,” Sanders said.

Other anti-LGBTQIA politicians have made similar moves, including in Texas and Oklahoma, where schools have been ordered not to comply with the new LGBTQIA-inclusive regulation.

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