Transgender Athletes Banned from Mississippi Girls’ Sports Teams

Transgender athletes are banned from playing on girls’ and young women’s sports teams in Mississippi, under a law signed Thursday by Gov. Tate Reeves.

An executive order that President Joe Biden (D) issued the day he took office banning discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere “in my view encourages transgenderism amongst our young people,” Reeves (R) said before signing the legislation (S.B. 2536) in a ceremony at the state capitol in Jackson.

No evidence of any transgender athletes playing sports in Mississippi schools or colleges was presented by lawmakers supporting the bill during debate. Reeves called the possibility of a transgender athlete “an unfair challenge to biological girls who wish to join sports teams.”

  • It’s one of nearly 40 bills in state legislatures nationwide aimed at banning transgender kids from playing sports, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which opposes the measures. A federal court blocked a similar Idaho law enacted in 2020.
  • Five hundred student athletes have signed a letter asking the NCAA to stop holding championships and other events in states that have passed or are considering passing laws aimed at keeping transgender women and girls from joining youth and college sports.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics also opposes the legislation, saying it’s based on “myths and misinformation about transgender children and adolescents and a misunderstanding about medical and surgical aspects of gender-affirmative care.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Kay in Miami at jkay@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com; Heather Rothman at hrothman@bgov.com

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