Mississippi gov. signs law prohibiting biological males from competing in girls’ sports

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signing the Mississippi Fairness Act into law on Thursday, Mar. 12, 2021.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signing the Mississippi Fairness Act into law on Thursday, Mar. 12, 2021. | Bailey Martin, press secretary of Governor Reeves

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeve has signed into law a measure that, among other things, prohibits biological males from competing in girls' and women’s sports.

Reeves signed Senate Bill 2536, also known as the Mississippi Fairness Act, into law on Thursday, which is slated to take effect on July 1.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, Reeves explained that the law came in response to President Joe Biden issuing an executive order allowing trans-identified individuals to enter private spaces designated for the opposite sex and for boys who identify as female to compete in girls' sports. 

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“I never imagined dealing with this, but POTUS left us no choice. One of his first acts was to sign an EO encouraging transgenderism in children,” tweeted Reeves.

“So today, I proudly signed the Mississippi Fairness Act to ensure young girls are not forced to compete against biological males.”

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb, whose law firm has fought transgender ideology in the courts, celebrated the signing of SB 2536.

“Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females — that’s the reason we have girls’ sports. When we ignore science and biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete,” stated Holcomb.

“We thank Mississippi’s elected leaders for promoting a solution where girls across the state will not face these losses and can continue to pursue their dreams.”

The Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union denounced the new legislation, claiming in a statement that it was not “about protecting fairness in women’s sports.”

“It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life. It’s about creating solutions to problems that don’t exist,” stated the ACLU. “When elected leaders aren’t up to the real problems of our state, they tend to deflect and do anything to get people talking about something other than failing water systems, hospital closures, and teacher shortages.”

According to the new law, any sport sponsored by a public institution must be designated as either being open to only biological males, only biological females or labeled coed.

“Athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or ‘girls’ shall not be open to students of the male sex,” stated SB 2536, in part. “Any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act shall have a private cause of action.”

At the beginning of his administration, Biden signed an executive order advising federal agencies to interpret “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love,” began Biden's order.

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

The order received criticism from conservatives and liberals alike who believed that the federal measure was effectively attacking women’s sports and privacy rights.

For example, the feminist group the Women’s Liberation Front submitted a petition calling on the Department of Education to protect women’s sports from transgender activism.

The petition, which the federal department has 60 days to respond to, asked the government to affirm that sex as defined in Title IX is strictly biological, while gender identity is "a person's belief that they have an internal sense of self-identification as male, female, both, or neither, that is incongruent with one's sex."

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