Arkansas Governor Sanders Defies Biden Admin on Transgender Student Rights Rule

Arkansas Governor Sanders refuses to follow a new federal rule about transgender students’ rights in schools, stating that the state will not adhere to the regulation. The rule from the Biden administration clarifies Title IX, a law from 1972 that outlaws gender discrimination in schools. The updated regulation aims to protect the rights of transgender students, stating that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Governor Sanders has signed an executive order, announcing that Arkansas schools will keep following the laws about which bathrooms and pronouns transgender students can use. She believes that the changes to Title IX are a complete reinterpretation of the law. Other Republican-led states like Texas and Oklahoma have also instructed their schools not to comply with the new regulation.

Arkansas has been taking various steps to limit the rights of transgender youth, including appealing a judge’s ruling against the ban on gender affirming care for minors. The state is also facing a lawsuit over its decision to not allow the option for “X” instead of male or female on state-issued IDs. However, a spokesperson for the ACLU of Arkansas criticized Sanders’ order, calling it a clear attack on LGBTQ people’s well-being and freedoms.

Governor Sanders’ order directs the state education department to provide schools with specific guidance and emphasizes that Arkansas law should not be ignored. The order also mentions the state’s law regarding the participation of transgender athletes in sports teams. While the Biden administration’s new rules aim to prevent sex-based discrimination, they do not offer guidance on transgender athletes’ participation.

A representative from the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign warned of potential negative consequences for Arkansas, including a significant loss in funding if the state does not comply with the new regulations. However, Governor Sanders promised to pursue legal action to address any funding loss due to the non-compliance with the federal rule.

Written by Staff Reports

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