Kelly P. Kissel
March 16, 2017-
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas Senate committee moved closer Wednesday to approving a bill to require that people in public schools and government buildings use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their birth gender, despite fears that the move could lead to boycotts and a warning from the governor that the state doesn’t need such a law.
Republican Sen. Linda Collins-Smith wants certain facilities in government buildings, including schools, limited to members of only one sex if multiple people will use it at the same time. A similar law in North Carolina prompted the NBA and NCAA to move major sporting events out of the state. Collins-Smith’s bill would not apply to private businesses, and governments could provide family restrooms or single-occupancy restrooms. She said her bill was not the same as North Carolina’s, though operators of public entertainment venues said the perception could still lead to a loss of business.