The Mississippi State House passed the bill 81-28 on Wednesday to ban men pretending to be women from competing on sports teams based on the gender they “identify” with.
Neonnettle Seven representatives voted “present,” while six did not vote, which counts neither for nor against the bill. The ban would apply to teams at all schools and universities across the state.
The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Tate Reeves. Reeves has expressed support for the move and is expected to sign the legislation into Mississippi state law as soon as possible.
The Republican-controlled state Senate passed the bill 34-9 on Feb. 11, with five senators not voting, and four voting “present,” according to Fox News.
Mississippi is now one of more than 20 states where lawmakers have proposed restrictions on athletes playing on sports teams that don’t align with their sex assigned at birth or for gender-reassignment health care for minors.
In a day one executive order, Joe Biden called on schools across the country to permit students to participate in sports under their chosen gender identity.
Several lawsuits across the nation have emerged after high school girls have challenged policies that allow transgender females to compete in their field.
Many note the physical advantages that biological male transgenders have over “cisgender” (people who “identify” as their born gender) females.
Reeves is a father to three daughters and says he is actively involved in their sports.
On the day of Biden’s executive order, the governor wrote on Twitter, “I am so disappointed over President Biden’s actions to force young girls like them to compete with biological males for access to athletics.” “It will limit opportunity for so many competitors like my daughters. “It is bad policy and it is wrong for America,” he added.
The Human Rights Campaign noted on Twitter that Mississippi became the first in the nation “to pass an explicitly anti-trans bill in 2021.” “We are witnessing a coordinated effort to limit and erase trans existence across the country,” the group wrote.
Only 17 states allow transgender high school athletes to take part in sports without regulation.