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Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton Introduces Anti-Trans Prison Bill

Arkansas introduced a bill today that would require the Bureau of Prisons to house inmates according to their assigned sex at birth and not their gender identity.Cotton’s bill — titled “Preventing Violence Against Female Inmates Act” — would prevent prisons from designating a separate housing option for inmates based on their gender identity.In a transphobic press release, Cotton said “a prison would be free to set up specific housing units for transgender inmates based on security, medical, or programming needs,” however, they could not be housed with cisgender women or men. According to the LGBTQ+ news site Xtra, the legislation was introduced in response to a leaked Department of Justice (DOJ) report about a proposed executive order from President Joe Biden that would require prisons to assign housing in alignment with an inmate’s gender identity. “My bill will stop the president’s ill-conceived plan and keep men and women separated in federal prison,” Cotton said. Gabriel Arkles, senior counsel at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (TLDEF), told Xtra that Cotton’s bill is “scapegoating transgender women” and endangers them further.“Anyone concerned with violence against women should be worried about the staggering rate of sexual violence against transgender women in men’s prisons,” Arkles said.President Biden's administration had attempted to bring back policies from the Obama administration that had allowed inmates to be housed according to their gender identity.
advocate.com

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