Lawmakers in Mississippi, US have officially banned trans athletes from participating in school sports, with Arkansas following closely behind. According to the BBC, state governor Tate Reeves recently signed the so-called ‘Mississippi Fairness Act’, making it the first anti-trans bill to have been successfully passed in 2021. The new law requires schools to “designate its athletic teams or sports according to biological sex”.
The bill passed through both chambers of the state legislature by overwhelming majorities, and gov. Reeves has shown strong support for the regulations, having previously criticised president Joe Biden’s executive order which called for trans inclusion in school sports. Over 20 states are currently considering similar laws against trans athletes, with the Arkansas senate recently voting in favour of Senate Bill 354, which is supposedly aimed at “protecting biological females” in sports.
LGBTQ+ activists have expressed concern over the various anti-trans bills. After the bill was passed in Mississippi, the Human Rights Campaign tweeted: “Trans kids deserve better…[Tate Reeves has] turned his back on his constituents and made Mississippi a symbol of hate.” The American Civil Liberties Union also condemned the ‘Mississippi Fairness Act’, tweeting: “Mississippi’s governor just signed the first anti-trans bill of 2021 into law. Now is the time to be loud: Trans people BELONG.”