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Mississippi governor expected to sign bill restricting transgender sports

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is expected to sign a bill on Thursday banning transgender athletes from competing on girls and women’s sports teams. 

The legislation calls on K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities, to designate all sports teams for men and boys, women and girls or “coed.” It states that “Athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or ‘girls’ shall not be open to students of the male sex.” 

The bill passed the state’s Senate last month, and Mississippi House lawmakers passed the bill last week. 

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The bill will go into effect on July 1 after being signed by the governor.

Reeves earlier this month vowed that he will sign the legislation in order to “protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities.” 

He also slammed President BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Manchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE’s executive order he signed earlier this year banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

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States across the country have proposed restrictions on athletics for transgender students this year, seeking to block transgender children and young adults from playing on the teams that affirm their gender identity.

Critics of the legislation argue that it marginalizes transgender students by not letting them participate in activities that align with their gender.

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, last week slammed the state’s passage of the bill, calling Mississippi “the first state in the nation to pass an explicitly anti-trans bill in 2021.”

“We are witnessing a coordinated effort to limit and erase trans existence across the country,” the group tweeted.