Two more anti-LGBTQ+ bills made their way through state legislatures this week. One has been vetoed by a governor while the other waits to be signed into law.
On Wednesday, Arkansas legislators voted to expand the state’s ban on trans women and girls competing on scholastic sports teams of their gender identity. The expansion will allow the state’s attorney general to sue schools which do not comply with the legislation.
The House voted overwhelmingly on the expansion, 74-17. The bill now goes to the governor, Asa Hutchinson, who signed the original bill into law at the end of March. Although Hutchinson had previously vetoed a bill that would have prohibited medical providers from providing gender affirming care to trans minors — a veto which was then overruled by the state’s General Assembly — he has voiced his support for trans athletic bans. He is expected to sign this recent expansion into law.
The Arkansas vote comes one day after Arizona governor Doug Ducey vetoed a bill that would have restricted LGBTQ+ content in sex education. The bill would have prevented schools from teaching about topics related to sexual identity — including LGBTQ+ history and HIV/AIDS — unless a student received written consent from their parents. It would also ban sex education in classes before 5th grade, a measure which opponents say would prevent younger students from learning to distinguish “good touch/bad touch” behaviors.
In a letter explaining the veto, Ducey wrote that “the language of the bill is overly broad and vague and could lead to serious consequences.” He does, however, express support for the “underlying principles and intent for this legislation,” which involves more parental involvement in sex education. He also signed a new executive order mandating that schools made sex education curriculum publically available for parents to view before opting their children in.
The Hill reports that it’s unclear if the Arizona state legislature will vote to override the governor’s veto, although the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Nancy Barto (R) said that Ducey’s order is “no substitute for parental rights grounded in law.”