Mississippi Passes Bill To Ban Transgender Athletes From Competing In Women’s Sports
Transgender athletes will not be allowed to compete on girls’ and womens’ sports teams, Mississippi has ruled.
In an 81-28 vote yesterday, March 3, the state House approved Senate Bill 2536, which will apply to all high schools and universities in Mississippi.
The Republican-controlled state Senate previously voted in favour of the bill last month. In yesterday’s meeting, six representatives did not vote, and seven voted ‘present’, which means they neither favour nor reject the bill.
It will now need to be approved by Republican Governor Tate Reeves, who has previously voiced his support for the bill.
On President Joe Biden’s first days in office, he signed an executive order which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in school sports.
‘Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,’ the order said.
Reeves took to both Twitter and Facebook at the time to criticise the President’s stance, writing: ‘I am so disappointed over President Biden’s actions to force young girls like them to compete with biological males for access to athletics. It will limit opportunity for so many competitors like my daughters. It is bad policy and it is wrong for America.’
The bill has faced criticism from civil rights groups for being both discriminatory and peddling anti-transgender views. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) described the bill as ‘a coordinated effort to erase trans existence’.
‘Today, in sending SB 2536 to Governor Reeves, Mississippi became the first state to take the plunge by passing legislation specifically attacking transgender children,’ Alphonso David, the organisation’s president, said in a statement yesterday.
‘Mississippi is so determined to be on the wrong side of history that it is defying the evidence in favor of discrimination. There is simply no justification for banning transgender girls and women from participating in athletics other than discrimination,’ David added.
Ahead of the House vote, HRC’s state director, said it was simply unrealistic to suggest athletes were transition for the sake of competitive advantage.
‘If legislators would simply listen to medical experts and transgender athletes, they might know that transitioning for the sake of a competitive advantage is simply unrealistic. So is the idea that transgender athletes even gain a supposed advantage in the first place,’ Rob Hill said.
In the US, currently, only 17 states allow transgender high school athletes to take part in sports without regulation.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.
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