trans athlete sports ban mississippi

SHOCK: Mississippi to Ban Trans Athletes from Women’s Sports

On Wednesday (March 3) the State House in Mississippi approved a bill that  could ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports. If passed, the bill would make Mississippi the first US state to actively add anti-transgender legislation to its books. 

The bill passed through the house with an 81-28 vote, and is designed to prohibit transgender athletes from competing in women’s high school and college sports teams in the Hospitality State. 

Gov. Reeves Critical of Trans Athletes 

Now that it’s successfully made it through the house, Senate Bill 2536 now need to be approved by the state’s Republican Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves has been openly and vocally critical of trans athletes in the past and is therefore expected to sign the bill into state law. However, he has remained quiet on the issue in recent days, despite the high profile bill being brought to before the state House. 

Other Conservative States Likely to Follow Suit

Despite the fact we live in a widely progressive society in the US and the wider western world, the stance of the Republican Government in Mississippi is far from unique. Numerous anti-transgender bills relation to sports participation have been introduced in a number of US states, all of which have republican governments. Senate Bill 2536 is so far the only one to make it as far as the governor’s desk, but we’re still in early March, so more conservative states could yet reach this stage before the end of 2021.

Naturally, such bills have faced a large volume of backlash and criticism from LGBTQ charities and support groups both here in the US and throughout the world. The most notable and vocal of these is the Human Rights Community - the largest LGBTQ rights group in the US. 

Male-Born Athletes Have an ‘Unfair Advantage’

Those in support of banning trans athletes from women’s competitive sports claim that being born male gives trans athletes an ‘unfair advantage’ when competing in women’s sports.Those who support the inclusion of trans athletes in women’s sports  say that bills, such as Senate Bill 2536 in Mississippi are both ‘discriminatory and harmful’. Opposers of the conservative bills have also suggested that the ‘unfair advantage’ argument is merely a poor a tempt to make their thinly veiled transphobia more palatable.

Mississippi “Determined to be on the Wrong Side of History" 

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Community, commented on the bill, accusing the Mississippi state government of being “determined to be on the wrong side of history”. He then went in to say that the only “justification” that the supporters had for banning transgender athletes from woman’s sport was “discrimination”. 

Sponsor Claims to Have Support From Coaches

Republican state Sen. Angela Hill, who is the sponsor for Senate Bill 2536, has claimed that she pushed the bill through because numerous sports coach in the state had called her claiming that there is a “need for policy”. 

Although he hasn’t been vocal in recent days, Governor Reeves, who could write the bill into law this week, made his stance clear on transgender athletes earlier in the year. When President Biden issued an order last month extending protections against the discrimination of people based on the sexuality or gender identity, Reeves sent out a post on Facebook in response, In the post, the governor claim that president Biden was forcing you female athletes, including his own daughters, to “compete with biological males for access to athletics."

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