Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has officially barred transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports in the state’s public schools and colleges.
The bill passed with ease through Mississippi’s Republican-dominated Legislature, according to The Daily Signal, before being signed by Reeves, also a Republican, on Thursday.
Although several similar bills have popped up around the country recently, Mississippi’s SB 2536 is the first legislation to be signed into law this year preventing biological males from competing in sports for biological females.
“This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair, level playing field in public schools,” Reeves said on Thursday.
I never imagined dealing with this, but POTUS left us no choice. One of his first acts was to sign an EO encouraging transgenderism in children. So today, I proudly signed the Mississippi Fairness Act to ensure young girls are not forced to compete against biological males. pic.twitter.com/INZgKQRMJr
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 11, 2021
Unsurprisingly, the bill is not without its critics who claim that it unduly discriminates against transgender students.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, called the bill “appalling” and “a solution in search of a problem.”
Mississippi lawmakers have not “provided any examples of Mississippi transgender athletes gaming the system for a competitive advantage because none exist,” David added.
“Just like it was never about restrooms, this bill is not about sports,” Chase Strangio, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy director for transgender justice, told Law and Crime. “It’s about pushing trans people out of public life.”
Reeves is perhaps best remembered by folks for leading his state in prayer at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“I believe in the power of prayer, so I’m inviting you to pray with me on this Sunday morning,” Reeves said in a brief, prayer-filled Bible study in March of 2020 that was viewed by over 179,000 people at the time. “‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’”
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed,” the governor said, reading from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
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