Arkansas Governor Says Transgender Bathroom Bill Is Unnecessary

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality in Fayetteville offers special support groups to people in Washington and Benton counties.

One of the groups they offer support services to is the transgender community.

Last year, the NWA Center for Equality spoke out against a statement made by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson regarding which bathrooms transgender students are allowed to use. Hutchinson told state lawmakers to ignore the federal law that allows students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. However, earlier this month Hutchinson also told lawmakers he does not feel a so-called bathroom bill is necessary.

"When I've talked to school administrators and others they've all had an ability to manage at the local level what is the best solution for everybody involved." Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, said.

Lawmaker in North Carolina were the first to pass a bathroom bill that requires transgender people to use the bathroom that coincides with the gender on their birth certificate. The state took a hit economically as musical acts and sporting franchises cancelled several events.

Collins said he agrees with the governor's approach.

"I don't see the necessity of some new piece of legislation," he said. "If someone were to propose it, I'd need to understand what is the problem we're trying to solve; what's not working now and what is it that the local decision-makers are not able to handle on their own."