Gov. Hutchinson announces opposition to federal Title IX changes regarding transgender inclusion

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/KAIT) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson made his position on transgender inclusion clear at a Thursday news conference.

On Sept. 15, Hutchinson said the changes to Title IX currently proposed by the Biden administration to include transgender inclusion were “unacceptable”, according to content partner KARK.

“This [the proposed changes] would interfere with Arkansas law, it would interfere with common sense, and it would interfere with local control [of schools],” he said. “Specifically, it would impact our ability to prohibit biological males from competing in girls’ sports.”

He explained the proposed change was to counter the Trump administration’s decision to overturn earlier transgender inclusions recommendations.

He added the issue at hand is how the changes interfere with state law.

Back in 2021, the governor signed Senate Bill 354, which prohibited transgender athletes from participating in female sports programs.

Hutchinson continued by saying conflict with federal law would lead to schools losing federal funding, and conflict with state law could even end state funding.

At the news conference was Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who also voiced her opposition on the changes and had joined other state attorney generals in signing a letter to President Joe Biden about their opposition.

Rutledge used the example of NCAA transgender athlete Lia Thomas and her success in swimming as an example of what transgender inclusion would bring to college sports.

“I don’t want my daughter or any other daughter to not have the opportunity to compete and succeed,” she said.

Hutchinson said his hope was the letters signed by the attorney generals were enough for the administration to withdraw the proposed changes, indicating if the changes did become law, his administration would not follow them.