Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP on Mississippi’s Unconstitutional Ban on Transgender Participation in School-Sponsored Sports
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP on Mississippi’s Unconstitutional Ban on Transgender Participation in School-Sponsored Sports

Press Contacts

  • Adam Peck

Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, as President Biden and the American people marked the one-year anniversary of the Covid pandemic, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed into law S.B. 2536, a bill that bans transgender students from participating in organized team sports. Several other Republican-controlled legislatures are contemplating similar bills, even as the Biden administration has made it clear that the federal government will protect transgender Americans from unlawful discrimination.

In response to the bill’s signature, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Mississippi’s new law is as reckless and deceitful as it is heartless and cruel. Banning transgender students from participating in organized sports does nothing to protect women’s sports and is simply a means to target transgender Americans—in this case, children—for discrimination and persecution.

There is no evidence whatsoever that allowing transgender participation in sports has any impact on cisgender performance or participation. On the contrary, in Connecticut—where lawmakers introduced new trans-inclusive policies in public schools—girls’ teams have seen an uptick in participation.

Legislation like S.B. 2536 in Mississippi have only one objective: advancing an agenda of bigotry and hate. Transgender students already report higher rates of bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation. By codifying their exclusion from society into law, Mississippi Republicans are purposefully endangering the lives of children in order to score cheap political points.

Fortunately, bills like S.B. 2536 are so blatantly discriminatory that the lawsuit almost writes itself. The question is not whether this bill is unconstitutional, but how quickly the American legal system will strike it down as such. Ultimately, it will be the courts who will save Mississippians from Gov. Reeves’ tyranny. Anti-transgender laws in North Carolina cost the state an estimated $4 billion when companies and organizations pulled their events and business from the state. Mississippi and any other state contemplating similar legislation should think twice before jeopardizing their economies along with their morals just so they can bully transgender teenagers.

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For more information on transgender participation in sports or to speak with an expert, please contact Adam Peck at apeck@americanprogress.org.