Late Thursday, the Mississippi State Senate passed legislation aimed at barring biological males from competing in women’s sports in any public school or institution of higher learning. The Mississippi Fairness Act (SB2536) was approved 34-9 just hours before the bill would have expired for this legislative session. It now moves on the House, where it is expected to pass.
State Senator Angela Hill authored the bill. Following Thursday night’s vote, she tweeted:
“Late tonight, God blessed all our efforts. We passed the Fairness Act through the Senate with no questions and 20 plus co-authors. For all the people that helped and spoke out, the female athletes of MS thank you. This is amazing. Got to make it through the house [sic] next.”
“The Mississippi Fairness Act now is being transmitted to the House of Representatives, where Speaker Philip Gunn will designate that bill to a particular committee. The bill will have to be voted out of committee, then it will come up for a floor vote. If it passes, the bill will go to the governor for signature to become law.”
“Governor Tate Reeves (R-Mississippi) tweeted recently that he is opposed to President Biden’s executive order [banning discrimination based on ‘gender identity’]. He thinks it’s a bunch of nonsense. He has girls and I believe he would strongly support this bill.
“I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t tweeted out that he’s in support of the bill, but he has certainly indicated his cultural position on this issue in referencing his own girls, who are in sports, [and] that he believes boys don’t belong in competitions in girls’ athletics.”
Rob Chambers, vice president
Secretary of State Michael Watson, the father of three girls, backed the Fairness Act, posting his support on Facebook prior to the vote, encouraging the Senate to pass it:
“On occasion, our politics gets an opportunity to slam the brakes on some portions of our runaway culture. The Fairness Act … offers a chance for our legislature to take a strong stand …. Let’s get it done!”
Another state official, Agricultural Commissioner Andy Gipson, who has two daughters, also used social media to relay his support:
“This bill is a commonsense measure …. It’s bizarre to think we would ever need to pass such a bill, but recent actions at the federal level make it both necessary and appropriate.”
One of the executive orders President Joe Biden signed the first day he was in office bans discrimination based on “gender identity” in school sports and elsewhere.
All those who voted to approve the Mississippi bill are Republican; all those who voted against it are Democrat. Another nine senators (seven Democrat and two Republican) were either absent or simply voted “present.”
Yearwood (transgender runner)Several states taking a stand for female athletes
Christiana Holcomb is an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a law firm representing female athletes in states such as Connecticut where biological males are allowed to compete in women’s sports.
Holcomb says she’s aware of approximately a dozen states across the U.S. that are currently considering bills that would ensure that only biological females compete on sports teams designated for women or girls.
“… These girls [deserve to] have a fair chance at winning,” says the ADF attorney. “In Connecticut, two biological male athletes over the course of just three years took 15 women’s state championship titles.”
One female athlete who lost out is Chelsea Mitchell of Canton, Connecticut. She is now a college student in Virginia – but her mother recalls when her daughter had to face unfair competition while in high school.
“This started when Chelsea was just a freshman in 2017 in her first state championship race in the 100-meter dash where she had to compete against a biological male,” says Christy Mitchell. “Chelsea lost four state championship titles over the course of her high school career – and she was just one of many girls who lost out on opportunities.”
Christy Mitchell contacted the school, administrators, athletic director, school board, even the state’s Title IX coordinator to try to get the policy reversed. “I tried to talk with state lawmakers,” Christy continues. “No one wanted to intervene on our behalf.”
Regarding President Biden’s executive order calling for biological males to be allowed in female sports?
“It’s extremely discouraging to see the federal government try to take the bad policy we saw in Connecticut and try to impose it across the nation,” says attorney Holcomb. “But let me be really clear: you cannot amend federal law by executive fiat – and what the administration has tried to do is flatly unlawful.”
Holcomb goes on to say that “the whole point of Title IX” was to provide young athletes with a fair, level playing field. “And that’s what we’re here to stand for and protect,” Holcomb concludes.