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US Governor Tate Reeves Signs Bill Banning Transgender Athletes From Competing In Women's Sports

Max Sherry


US Governor Tate Reeves Signs Bill Banning Transgender Athletes From Competing In Women's Sports

The first anti-trans bill of 2021 has just come into action.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed off on a new law which will prevent transgender athletes from competing in women's sports or joining female teams.

Reeves has now found himself in the firing line with the LGBTQ+ community left absolutely fuming at his decision.

"This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair, level playing field in public schools," he said after putting his signature beside Senate Bill 2536.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. Credit: PA
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. Credit: PA

"We view this (US President Joe Biden signing an executive order) as presenting an unfair challenge to biological girls from joining sports teams.

"The Mississippi Fairness Act would bar biological men from competing in women's sports in Mississippi public schools.

"I have three young daughters of my own. Many of us talk about how much enjoyment we get from watching them play ball. It gives them opportunities to use the talents that God blessed them with. But it's not just about winning and losing, it's about the lessons they learn while on the field. It helps them learn to work together with their teammates. It helps them learn how to communicate and to build relationships with others girls around the country. It's where they've formed lifelong relationships with girls on their teams and the opposition players.

"I am proud of the stand Mississippi is taking on this issue with the passage and signing of the Mississippi Fairness Act.

"It sends a clear message to my daughters, and all of Mississippi's daughters, that their rights are worth fighting for."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

News of the bill ultimately left United States citizens divided with many slamming the move while others taking to social media to praise it.

One person who wasn't a fan of it was Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, who labelled the decision as "appalling" and a clear "anti-transgender push."

"Governor Reeves' eagerness to become the face of the latest anti-transgender push is appalling, as he chooses fear and division over facts and science," David said.

"This law is a solution in search of a problem, and legislators in Mississippi have not provided any examples of Mississippi transgender athletes gaming the system for a competitive advantage because none exist. While transgender athletes have been competing at every level for years without incident, Governor Reeves is signing this bill while Mississippians continue to suffer and real issues go unaddressed.

"Bullying transgender kids is no way to govern the state out of the crises they face. While he claims this bill is necessary pushback against the Biden Administration, he is ignoring the fact that 35 anti-transgender sports bills were introduced during the Trump presidency last year, including in Mississippi. Like previous iterations of the same anti-equality fight, this law is bound to face scrutiny, legal challenges, and ultimately hurt the state's reputation. Transgender kids deserve better and so does Mississippi."

Chase Strangio, who is the American Civil Liberties Union deputy director for trans justice as well as an anti-trans attorney, was equally as appalled at the decision and described the bill as "very vague" and "seemingly unenforceable."

Strangio drew similarities between this new Mississippi Fairness Act to the bills that we passed a few years back which prevented trans students from using bathrooms that weren't of their biological sex.

"Just like it was never about restrooms, this bill is not about sports," Strangio said.

"It's about pushing trans people out of public life."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: transgender athletes, Australia, US

Max Sherry
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