While the largely Black residents of Jackson, Mississippi, continue to not have safe drinking water weeks after a devastating winter storm, the state’s Republican Governor Tate Reeves is prioritizing the passage of state-sponsored discrimination against trans kids. On Thursday, Reeves signed a bill banning trans girls in public schools, including the state’s universities, from playing sports according to their gender identity, turning Mississippi into the first—but most certainly not the last—state in 2021 to pass a version of this discriminatory and transphobic legislation. Mississippi’s Republican leaders just love being number one in the nation when it comes to child poverty, and now they’re enthusiastically leading the way on targeting trans kids! Congrats on being hateful assholes, and fuck you!
In a tweet, Reeves pinned the blame for his bigotry on President Joe Biden, who as one of his first acts as president issued an executive order that announced his administration would move to once again protect the rights of trans kids, including their ability to play sports. “I never imagined dealing with this, but POTUS left us no choice,” Reeves wrote, before openly displaying his transphobia by calling trans girls “biological males.”
Mississippi joins Idaho—which passed a similar ban that has since been tied up in litigation in 2020—as well as the many other states considering similar bans, in actively promoting hate and bigotry towards young children and teens who are now getting the message that their states’ Republican leaders would like nothing more than for them to disappear.
The state is likely opening itself up to a lawsuit, as well as to the possibility of losing federal education funding. As the ACLU’s Chase Strangio told the Associated Press, Mississippi’s law “is very vague and seemingly unenforceable.” Strangio added, “Governor Reeves’ statement makes clear that this isn’t about sports at all, this is about attacking trans youth and stopping kids from being trans—a dangerous project with deadly consequences.”