On Thursday, 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 accordance with their gender identity.
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 Associated Press 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.”
Neither Hill nor other supporters of the bill presented evidence of transgender athletes competing in Mississippi schools or universities. Reeves and Hill are Republicans.
One state resident, Katy Binstead, said in a news conference last week, however, that the law will make things even harder for her transgender daughter, who “faces bullying on a daily basis” at her middle school.
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,” she said. “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.”
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SOURCE: NBC News, Dan Avery