Mississippi, Tennessee Ban Transgender Athletes from Competing in Girls' Sports

At the beginning of March, two Republican-led states, Tennessee and Mississippi, passed bills that ban biological male and transgender athletes from competing in female sports. In a vote of 27-6, Tennessee Senate passed SB 228, which was sponsored by Republican Sen. Joey Hensley. However, Republican Representative Scott Cepicky introduced an accompanying bill in the State’s House but it has not been voted on yet. Below is a summary of the bill.

"This bill requires, for the purposes of participation in a middle school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event, that a student's gender be determined by the student's sex at the time of the student's birth, as indicated on the student's original birth certificate."

"If a birth certificate does not appear to be the student's original birth certificate or does not indicate the student's sex at birth, the student must provide other evidence to indicate the student's sex.”

Meanwhile, in Mississippi on Wednesday, the state House passed a bill restricting transgender athletes from participating in girls’ or women’s sports. Six reps did not vote and seven voted “present”, meaning they were neither for nor against the measure. The bill was passed 81-28.

On February 11, the Mississippi Senate also passed the bill 34-9 with five senators not voting and four voting “present.” In that period, Gov. Tate Reeves, a father of three daughters, showed his disappointment over President Joe Biden’s executive order allowing transgender athletes in female sports.

"I am so disappointed over President Biden’s actions to force young girls like them to compete with biological males for access to athletics. It will limit opportunity for so many competitors like my daughters. It is bad policy and it is wrong for America," he tweeted on February 4.

Reeves is expected to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

Fox News reported that Mississippi is presently among the 20 states where lawmakers have issued bans on transgender athletes from participating on sports teams that do not agree with the biological sex they were given at birth.

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