Arkansas resumes issuing birth certificates after brief halt

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ governor ordered health officials on Friday to treat married lesbian and heterosexual couples the same when listing the parents on a birth certificate, in an effort to comply with a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the state’s birth certificate law was discriminatory.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s directive came hours after a judge blocked the state from issuing any birth certificates until it complied with the June ruling. Arkansas stopped issuing and amending birth certificates for about two hours Friday morning after the injunction by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox, who also canceled mediation he had ordered between attorneys for the state and three same-sex couples to find a fix to the law.

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Arkansas panel closer to public building ‘bathroom bill’

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas Senate committee moved closer to approving a bill requiring that people in public schools and government buildings use bathrooms that correspond to their birth gender, despite fears the move could lead to boycotts.

Republican Sen. Linda Collins-Smith wants restrooms or locker rooms in government buildings limited to members of only one sex if multiple people use it. A similar law in North Carolina prompted the NBA and NCAA to move major sporting events out of the state.

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‘Bathroom bill’ could upend Arkansas session

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Two years ago, a bill blasted by critics as anti-LGBT upended the final days of a legislative session that Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson had hoped to focus on tax cuts and health care reform. A plan by GOP lawmakers to push for a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people means the Legislature is about to dive into a reprise of that battle.

A one-sentence bill filed last week offered little specifics, other than saying its purpose was to address “gender identity and bathroom privileges.” A lawmaker co-sponsoring the measure said, once finalized, it’ll require people to use public restrooms consistent with the gender on their birth certificates.

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