Current Affairs

Arkansas bill targets trans community under ‘indecent exposure’ law

Joseph McCormick March 27, 2017
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A politician in Arkansas has proposed a bill to further target the transgender community.

Republican Representative Bob Ballinger has proposed that the state’s indecent exposure laws be expanded.

Under the proposal, it would become illegal to knowingly expose their genitals to a member of the opposite sex in a public place.

bathroom cred flickr

The measure, which has already passed in the House in Arkansas, has been accused of being a thinly veiled attempt to stop transgender people from using public bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

The ACLU of Arkansas has accused the bill targets transgender people.

“This bill is intimidating. It can lead to increased harassment. It will chill transgender people’s participation in public life,” Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas director said.

Going on, Dickson notes an impact statement attached to the bill which states that there were just seven violations of the current law between 2013 and 2015.

“It is creating problems where there are no problems,” Dickson added.

The Human Rights Campaign also released a statement suggesting that Arkansas could find itself in similar financial woes as North Carolina, which passed its bathroom bill in 2016.

HB2, passed last year, and which has caused massive boycotts, is said to cost North Carolina billions of dollars.

But Ballinger claims that his proposal does not affect the transgender community.

He says his measure fills a gap in the indecent exposure law.

Arkansas last week rejected a bill to allow same-sex parents to be listed on birth certificates.

Related topics: Arkansas, US

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