Mississippi Fairness Act, thought to die in Senate, revived late Thursday evening

Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune joins Common Core opponents at a rally opposing...
Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune joins Common Core opponents at a rally opposing Mississippi's continued use of the Common Core academic standards on the steps of the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Hill is among several senators that have expressed their desire to repeal the academic standard's use in the state. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 2:40 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Fairness Act, which would require any public institution to designate its athletic teams according to the biological gender of its players, has lived to fight another day.

The act was thought to die in Senate, but was passed late Thursday evening by a 34-9 vote.

As written, the act would not allow athletic teams designated for females, women or girls to be open to students of the male sex.

If disputed, the student could establish their sex by presenting a physician’s statement which would have indicated their sex based upon the student’s external reproductive anatomy, their “normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone” and an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup.

Angela Hill, who authored the bill and who also believed it would not pass, stated on Facebook that “God blessed all our efforts” and “For all the people that helped and spoke out, the female athletes of MS thank you.”

The bill comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that transgender women should be able to compete on female teams in school.

Some governors, including Tate Reeves and, more recently, Bill Lee of Tennessee, have criticized this order, with Reeves accusing politicians of pushing children “into transgenderism” and Lee stating that transgender athletes will “destroy women’s sports.”

Andy Gipson, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, has also shown support for the Fairness Act, writing in a Facebook post that “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.”

Of the bill, Rob Hill, state director of Mississippi’s Human Rights Campaign, called it “anti-transgender legislation” that is “putting fear over facts and denying fundamental rights to transgender Mississippians in the process.”

The Mississippi Fairness Act now moves on to the Mississippi House of Representatives.

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