JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is scheduled to sign a bill Thursday to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams.
Mississippi will become the first state this year to enact such a ban, after a federal court blocked a similar Idaho law last year. Mississippi’s Senate Bill 2536 is set to become law July 1, although a legal challenge is possible.
More than 20 states are proposing restrictions on athletics or gender-confirming health care for transgender minors this year. Conservative lawmakers are responding to an executive order by Democratic President Joe Biden that bans discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere. Biden signed it Jan. 20, the day he took office.
Alphonso David, president of the LGBTQ civil rights group Human Rights Campaign, condemned the Mississippi bill.
“There is simply no justification for banning transgender girls and women from participating in athletics other than discrimination,” David said after the House passed it March 3.