Mississippi Republican Governor, Tate Reeves, signed a bill Thursday that bans transgender athletes from participating on girls or women’s sports teams. The Senate passed the bill on February 11th, and passed it on March 3rd. Despite the argument by Alphonso David, president of the LGBTQ civil rights organization, that the bill is almost impossible to enforce, Bill 2536 will become a law on July 1st.
Mississippi is the first state to sign off on a bill of this kind, although more than 20 states are proposing bills that would put restrictions on athletics and healthcare for transgender minors this year. Idaho tried to enact a similar law in 2020 but was blocked by federal court.
Alphonso David told Clarion-Ledger that “legislators in Mississippi have not provided any examples of Mississippi transgender athletes gaming the system for a competitive advantage because none exist.”
Instead of examples, Legislators came loaded with stereotypes that transgender women athletes were “stronger, faster and bigger” than the theoretical cisgender female teammates. Theoretical, because the legislators had no concrete real life examples to pass the bill.
This bill is one of the 73 bills across the country that target transgender people in the 147 anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration across 20 states.
This is a chilling response to President Joe Biden signing the executive order that bans discrimination based on gender identity in schools’ sports and elsewhere the day he took office, on January 20th.
Reeves made it perfectly clear that this bill was in response to Biden, saying “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 that for that fact, we wouldn’t be here today.” during a ceremony in Mississippi Capitol.
He then took to twitter and pointed to his three young daughters (a very Ted Cruz move of him) as a reason for passing this bill, hoping to “protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities.”
Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights attorney with the national ACLU, says that there is a problem involving the transgender youth in sports, but it’s the exact opposite of what the republican party fears.
“Unfortunately, there is already rampant discrimination against trans youths in Mississippi, which means people are already being driven out of the sport.”
Those who oppose the bill, cite that it not only goes directly against Title IX of federal education law, which prohibits people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance, but it would also go against the rulings by the U.S supreme court and the 11th U.S Circuit court of appeals.