The Mississippi House of Representatives voted 82-28 on Wednesday to pass bill that will ban transgender athletes from competing on female sports teams in schools and universities. The bill previously passed in the state Senate with a vote of 34-9, and Gov. Tate Reeves has said he plans to sign it into law.
The Associated Student Body Senate urged the House not to pass the bill last month. At the time, ASB President Joshua Mannery said if the bill was passed, it would lead the university to be a part of a system that makes its students feel “unsafe and unwelcome.”
On Feb. 15, the ASB Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning the bill, opposing the ban on transgender athletes and to compel the State House of Representatives to fail the bill.
“It’s one thing for students to feel that transgender athletes might possess an unfair advantage over them, but it’s an entirely different matter for the Mississippi state legislature to completely ban transgender women from competing among the gender with which they identify,” ASB Sen. Andy Flores said.
The NCAA has said that the notion of an unfair advantage is based in “assumptions that are not well founded” in response to the claims that transgender women have an unfair advantage on sports teams.
Sen. Angela Hill, the sponsor of the bill, said that she “had numerous coaches across the state call (her) and believe that they feel that there is a need for a policy.”
Earlier this month, Reeves also released a statement on Facebook against allowing transgender women to compete in athletics.
“I just don’t understand why politicians are pushing children into transgenderism in the first place,” he said. “And my heart breaks for the young women across America who will lose in this radical social experiment.”