Mississippi bans transgender athletes from competing on women’s sports teams

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Credit: Samantha Elbouez/Morning Consult
Credit: Samantha Elbouez/Morning Consult

[March 11, Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill] to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams.

Mississippi is the first state this year to enact such a ban, after a federal court blocked an Idaho law last year. Mississippi’s Senate Bill 2536 is set to become law July 1, although a legal challenge is possible.

More than 20 states are proposing restrictions on athletics or gender-confirming health care for transgender minors this year. Conservative lawmakers are responding to an executive order by Democratic President Joe Biden that bans discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere. Biden signed it Jan. 20, the day he took office.

“But for the fact that President Biden as one of his first initiatives sat down and signed an executive order — which, in my opinion, encourages transgenderism amongst our young people — but for that fact, we wouldn’t be here today,” Reeves said.

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Supporters of bills such as the one in Mississippi argue that transgender girls, because they were born male, are naturally stronger, faster and bigger than those born female. Opponents say such proposals violate not only Title IX of federal education law prohibiting sex discrimination, but also rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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