LITTLE ROCK — A state senator filed a bill Tuesday he said would address the issue of transgender bathroom access.
Sen. Greg Standridge, R-Russellville, filed Senate Bill 346, which currently contains only one sentence: “The purpose of this act concerns gender and bathroom privileges.”
He and co-sponsor Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch, said Tuesday the details of the bill will be added later, but they said they intend for the measure to require people to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates.
“My values and everything else put me in the situation where I feel like it’s time to take a stand on it and make people understand what’s going on here,” Standridge said. “The situation of using a bathroom because you feel like a boy or a girl … is not right.”
Stubblefield said constituents have told him they were surprised a bill on the subject had not already been filed in the session, which began Jan. 9.
“My view is, if you’re born a male and your DNA is of male gender, then that’s the bathroom you should use,” Stubblefield said.
North Carolina has seen boycotts and criticism over a similar law, and a similar bill being considered by the Texas Legislature has prompted the NFL to threaten to hold no future Super Bowls in the state.
Standridge said when asked about the backlash against those states, “I’m not doing this to make Arkansas lose anything. We’re looking at this as just doing the right thing.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he believes a bill on transgender bathroom access is not needed.