Published March 11, 2021, at 12:57 pm
Declaring that it was time to push back against the Biden administration’s agenda that makes girls second-class citizens when they want to compete in girls’ sports, Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Thursday signed a state law requiring that biology determine whether athletes compete as male or female.
On Jan. 20, the day he took office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on gender identity that said, in part, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
At the signing ceremony for the Mississippi Fairness Act, Reeves said, “Now, I never would have envisioned on Inauguration Day 2020 that we would be here this morning. … But for the fact that President Biden, as one of his first initiatives, sat down and signed an executive order which, in my view, encourages transgenderism amongst our young people — but for that fact, we wouldn’t be here today.
“This was one of the first things that President Biden chose to do when in office, was to sign this executive order. We view this as presenting an unfair challenge to biological girls who wish to join sports teams.”
The governor said, “This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair, level playing field in public school sports.”
“It sends a clear message to my daughters and all of Mississippi’s daughters that their rights are worth fighting for,” he said.
Reeves has used his Twitter feed to show that he is adamant about the issue because his daughters are involved in sports.
The Mississippi Fairness Act states, “Athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or ‘girls’ shall not be open to students of the male sex” in K-12 public schools in Mississippi as well as public colleges and universities.
One supporter of the bill said it is designed to head off issues in which men and boys who identify as female compete against women and girls and dominate sporting events, as took place in Connecticut.
“The coaches have told me that this is an imminent problem in Mississippi,” Republican state Sen. Angela Hill of Picayune said, according to ABC News.
The law received its expected attacks.
“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,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement.
“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,” David said. “Bullying transgender kids is no way to govern the state out of the crises they face.”
“Like previous iterations of the same anti-equality fight,” he said, “this law is bound to face scrutiny, legal challenges, and ultimately hurt the state’s reputation. Transgender kids deserve better and so does Mississippi.”
Reeves shrugged off the criticism and said he was ready to battle for the law in court.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we are sued,” he said. “What I do know is that we will defend vigorously our rights to make these state laws.”
Mississippi is not alone.
According to The Hill, at least 35 bills have been introduced in various places around the country that would ban transgender athletes from competing with the opposite sex.
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