Gov. Tate Reeves signed “The Mississippi Fairness Act” into law, requiring the state’s schools to designate teams by sex assigned at birth and prohibiting transgender student athletes from participating in school sports.
In a March 4 tweet, Reeves said the law would
“protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities.”
The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Angela Hill told the AP that she had been approached by “numerous coaches” who felt there was a need for a policy
“because they are beginning to have some concerns of having to deal with this.”
Big surprise. Reeves and Hill are both Republicans.
Neither Hill nor other supporters of the bill presented any evidence of transgender athletes competing in Mississippi schools or universities.
One state resident, Katy Binstead, said her daughter asked to join the girls basketball team, but the principal told her in a message that used her daughter’s deadname that
“the district requires her to play on the boys team because of the gender on her birth certificate. My daughter isn’t comfortable playing with the boys, because she’s not a boy, and she never has been a boy.”
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said Reeves’ has
“done Mississippi students real harm.”
“To the transgender students in Mississippi who have been attacked by this legislation, you belong, we see you and we will do everything we can to support you. Gov. Reeves actions today are unjust and discriminatory. He has targeted transgender kids and added to their burden, opening them up to more harassment, abuse and violence.
Transgender students should be allowed to live their lives without fear and out of the shadows.”
The law goes into effect July 1, though legal challenges are expected.
Mississippi is the second state to enact such a ban, after Idaho did last year, and at least 20 other states are considering similar legislation.
Monday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (another Republican) said she was excited to sign a nearly identical bill “very soon.” The measure would also require students to submit a written statement affirming their sex
“as ascertained at or before birth in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology.”
There are an estimated 149 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Last week, the Biden administration said it believes laws like Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act are unconstitutional. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told The Washington Blade at a news briefing last Friday
“The president believes that trans rights are human rights, and that no one should be discriminated on the basis of sex.
Not only is this the law of the land, it’s his own deeply held view.”
I will sign our bill to protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities.— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 4, 2021
It’s crazy we have to address it, but the Biden E.O. forced the issue. Adults? That’s on them. But the push for kids to adopt transgenderism is just wrong. https://t.co/sncpaPlTbZ
The governors of South Dakota and Mississippi signed bills banning trans youth from participating in sports — encouraging discrimination against kids.— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) March 12, 2021
To trans youth across the country: We see you and we support you. #LetKidsPlayhttps://t.co/35Dg1TurFi
(via NBC News)