The state of Arkansas, led by Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has signed a new law prohibiting transgender individuals in public schools from using the restroom of their choice. This makes Arkansas the fourth place to enact such restrictions, following Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, all of which have faced lawsuits over their policies. The argument made by the right is that allowing individuals to use the restroom of their stated gender identity will open the door to stalking, sexual assault, and pedophilia. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. Studies have shown that trans people are more likely to be the victims of violence and harassment in public restrooms than they are to be the perpetrators. Additionally, laws already exist to protect individuals from sexual assault or harassment, regardless of their gender identity. The entire framework for these bathroom restrictions is based on fear and moral panic, rather than facts. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ decision to sign this law is a waste of time and resources for the people of Arkansas.
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