'Fairness' in sports now the law in Arkansas

Friday, March 26, 2021
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

volleyball (women's hands)Another Republican governor has signed legislation barring biological males from competing in female sports.

Two days after receiving SB354 from his state's legislature, Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas) signed into law a bill he explains "simply says that female athletes should not have to compete in a sport against a student of the male sex when the sport is designed for women's competition."

The "Fairness in Women's Sports Act" was introduced by Republican state Sen. Missy Irvin. Irvin, a soccer coach, says she feels as though she won a championship.

"It was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for young girls in the state of Arkansas and for women," says the state legislator, "and for what we have fought for [which is] equal opportunities in athletic competitions and in scholarships and since Title IX was passed 50 years ago."

Matt Sharp is an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a law firm fighting for female athletes and their Title IX rights.

"Since Title IX was enacted, we've seen hundreds of thousands of girls be able to not only participate in sports but get the other benefits of equal educational opportunities," says the attorney.

He references a recent survey of female executives that found more than 90% of them had participated in sports and experienced the benefits of teamwork, hard work, and overcoming adversity.

"So [that survey] shows you that when we're fighting for sports, we're not just fighting for the right of a girl to a fair and level playing field now – and that's an important thing to fight for – but we're fighting for what that does in the lives of countless young girls who enter into sports," says Sharp.

Some news outlets and other critics of the law have labeled the legislation as "anti-transgender" and discriminatory – and the governor's "eagerness" to sign it as an "affront" to transgender youth, as well as a step likely to create "economic headaches" for the state.

But Ken Yang of the Arkansas-based Family Council wants to set the record straight. "We are preventing biological boys from playing with biological girls," he tells One News Now. "And for anyone to say that it's fair that a biological male should be playing in girls' sports is absolutely ridiculous.

"This bill does not discriminate against anybody," Yang concludes. "It's a pro-women bill, a pro-women law – which is what the majority of Americans supported."

Earlier this month, the Republican governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, signed the "Mississippi Fairness Act" into law, protecting women's sports from biological males claiming to be female.

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