Mississippi and South Dakota have passed legislation that discriminates against transgender youth in sports.
Mississippi has become the first state to pass a law that would ban transgender girls and women from school sports.
Bill 2536, which exists under the title “provide that schools designate teams by biological sex”, aims to make it state binding that educational institutions must segregate sports teams based on biological sex.
The pending legislation argues education institutions that are members of sporting associations such as NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) or NJCCA (National Junior College Athletic Association) must allocate team members strictly based on biological sex.
The bill outlines three specific categories such as “males”, “females”, and “coed” which discriminates against transgender athletes.
Bill 2536 states it aims to “provide protection for any school or institution of higher education that maintains separate athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.”
Continuing, it outlines: “Athletic teams or sports designated for “females,” “women” or “girls” shall not be open to students of the male sex”.
Senate Bill 2536 passed House last month with 34 votes in favour of the legislation. Earlier this month, the state house voted in an overwhelming majority in favour of the bill.
A Republican majority voted in favour of the bill with an 81-28 outcome. The bill has since been sent to the Republican governor Tate Reeves.
Reeves is expected to sign the bill as she believes it will “protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities”, according to The Guardian.
Mississippi’s Senate Bill 2536 is expected to take effect and be in force from July 1, however, it can be legally challenged.
Following Biden’s executive order, the state law would be in violation of the updated Title IX laws which prevent discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, and race.
South Dakota legislature passed an anti-trans bill, H.B. 1217, earlier this week.
The state senate bill was won by a Republican majority at 20-15. The bill will now be passed onto South Dakota’s Republican governor Kristi Noem.
Noem has already publicly voiced support for the bill and is expected to pass it. On International Women’s Day, March 8, the governer posted her support for the legislation on social media.
“In South Dakota, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day by defending women’s sports! I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” she tweeted.
The bill states participants of a sports team can only join “based on their biological sex”. Alongside these specifications, a hopeful participant must have a written statement proving their age and biological sex “in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology”.
Republicans are trying to stop transgender athletes from participating in teams or sporting events matching their gender identity.
At least 37 bills targeting trans rights are being considered in an effort to stop transgender athletes from participating in sporting teams that align with how they self-identify, according to Insider.
South Dakota became the second state legislature to pass an anti-transgender bill this year.