Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, a
Republican, on Thursday signed a bill that bans transgender athletes
from competing on girls or women's sports teams.
Senate Bill 2536, known as the
Mississippi Fairness Act, is set to take effect on July 1.
At a signing ceremony held in the
Mississippi Capitol, Reeves said that the legislation was a response
to President Joe Biden's executive order implementing the U.S.
Supreme Court's ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County.
“But for the fact that President
Biden as one of his first initiatives sat down and signed an
executive order – which, in my opinion, encourages transgenderism
amongst our young people – but for that fact, we wouldn't be here
today,” Reeves said.
On Twitter, Reeves said that he was
“proud” to sign the bill.
In Bostock, the high court found
that anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. The
ruling has wide-ranging implications, affecting policies that
prohibit discrimination based on sex. It specifically prohibits
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, denied Reeves' claim that the
bill was a response to Biden's order.
“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,” HRC 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. 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
“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,” he said.
According to an HRC count, 108 bills
targeting the LGBT community have been introduced in state
legislatures this legislative session, with 71 bills specifically
targeting the rights of transgender individuals.
House Press Secretary Jen Psaki: Biden believes “trans rights are
A federal court last year blocked a
similar bill in Idaho from taking effect.
Lawmakers in South Dakota have sent a
similar bill to Governor Kristi Noem for her signature. The
Republican governor has said that she is “excited” to sign the