At least 25 states are considering anti-trans bills this year to prohibit trans women from participating in sports.
Mississippi legislators have passed a bill to ban trans athletes competing in women's sports teams in schools and universities. The discriminatory bill has been passed through the state's House and Senate and will be placed on the desk of Governor Tate Reeves for approval before it becomes a law. This is just one of many bills across states, primarily those with GOP-majority, aiming to restrict trans student-athletes from participating in school sports. The state House passed the 'Mississippi Fairness Act' with a majority of 81-28 and with a majority of 34-9 in the Senate. The ACLU has noted that at least 25 states, as of February 26, are considering similar transphobic bills that limit the participation of trans students in women's sports. The bill will require public schools and universities that is a member of the Mississippi High School Activities Association and NCAA, among other associations, to classify their athletic teams as 'male', 'female' or 'co-ed' and restrict athletes assigned male at birth to joining men's teams.
Idaho became the first state to pass a law banning trans women from competing in women's sports last year but a federal district court suspended the law. Wisconsin also introduced a similar bill earlier this week. The GOP, a party that works overtime to police women's bodies, stated they wanted to protect women's sport. "If we do not move to protect female sports from biological males who have an unfair physiological advantage, we will eventually no longer have female sports," said Republican state Senator Angela Hill, who sponsored the bill that's ironically titled Mississippi Fairness Act. "This issue is imminent in Mississippi. We have to make a statement that women matter, female sports matter," said Angela Hill. The bill does not prevent cis women from participating on the men's team, and at its core, only aims at delegitimizing trans women from being seen as women.
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David slammed the state's legislators and said Mississippi was on the wrong side of history. "There is simply no justification for banning transgender girls and women from participating in athletics other than discrimination," David said in a statement. "Like all girls, transgender girls just want to play and be part of a team with their friends. History will not look kindly on this moment in Mississippi." LGBTQ2IAP+ advocates warn such bills could have lasting damage to the lives of trans kids. "These dangerous bills are designed to make the lives of transgender kids more difficult while they try to navigate their adolescence," said David.
I had a different speech prepared today—about the Equality Act and what it would mean to me & my husband of 16 years, Phil.— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) February 25, 2021
But then the @GOP showed just how willing they are to attack their colleagues, trans kids, & put their prejudice so openly on display.
They are bigots. pic.twitter.com/ABOQGNfkYM
The governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, is expected to sign the bill given he voiced his displeasure at President Joe Biden's executive order combatting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, which stated, "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports."
A similar is also being considered in Utah. As we reported, A Republican governor Spencer Cox of Utah came close to tears as he urged his fellow party members to reconsider the matter and meet some of the kids that would be affected by it. "These kids are ... they're just trying to stay alive," said Cox, according to a video posted by PBS Utah. "There's a reason none of them are playing sports ... I just think there's a better way. And I hope that there will be enough grace in our state to find a better solution. I don't understand all of this, I don't, but I'm trying to understand more. I'm trying to listen and learn and, again, trying to help kids figure out who they are and to keep them alive." He took a moment to gather himself before saying, "I apologize for getting a little emotional."