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Mississippi, N.D. Push Transgender Athlete Bills Forward

Brock Fritz

The Mississippi Senate advanced a bill Thursday that would ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports, while a similar bill is heading to the North Dakota Senate after passing through the House.

According to The Associated Press, Senate Bill 2536 passed by a 34-9 vote in Mississippi and will now go to the Republican-controlled House.

Opponents of the bill say preventing athletes from competing with the gender they identify as violates Title IX and a number of laws prohibiting sex discrimination.

An executive order signed Jan. 20, the first day Joe Biden took office, bans discrimination based on gender identity in school sports.

Mississippi governor Tate Reeves responded by tweeting: “If there’s one thing that we are passionate about in the Reeves family, it’s my daughters’ sports. … 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.”

Similarly, the North Dakota bill passed the House and will move on to the Senate. According to the AP, If passed, the bill would ban public schools from “allowing a person under 18 to participate on a high school girls or boys team exclusively for the opposite sex. The bill would allow girls to participate in school sports for boys.”

“Let’s move forward, let’s defeat this bill and take care of the kids of our state,” North Dakota House Minority Josh Boschee said, according to the Bismarck Tribune, noting that the bill would put discrimination into law, hurt LGBTQ kids and open up North Dakota to lawsuits.

Similar bills are under consideration across the country, including Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and New Hampshire.

Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, issued a statement Wednesday condemning such bills.

“These bills are not addressing any real problem, and they’re not being requested by constituents,” the statement said. “Rather, this effort is being driven by national far-right organizations attempting to sow fear and hate.”

Related content: Montana Bill Limits Opportunities for Trans Athletes

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