A bill that would’ve required teams to be designated for one biological sex or the other died without a committee vote on Tuesday, but the idea has found new life attached to another bill.

Sen. Angela Hill (R-Picayune), along with senators Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) and Melanie Sojourner (R-Natchez) attached an amendment to Senate Bill 2351 concerning the state’s public high athletics sanctioning body, the Mississippi High School Activities Association. 

The bill would require the MHSAA, which is a non-profit corporation chartered by the state, to adhere to the state’s Open Meetings Act.

Her amendment would prevented public school districts from having to join and pay membership dues to the MHSAA or any other sanctioning body that allowed biological males to compete against biological females in sports. While not as expansive as her original legislation, Senate Bill 2240, the amendment accomplishes the goal of keeping biological males from competing against females in sports.

The amendment passed 34-12 and the overall bill passed by a 32-15 margin. It’s being held on a motion to reconsider, meaning the Senate needs to take it up again before sending it to the House.

The problem of biological males competing against females is an issue with vast statewide support that even cuts across partisan lines. According to a recent poll by Mason Dixon, 79 percent of the 625 registered voters in the poll said they would support a law prohibiting biological males from competing in female-only sporting leagues. Seventeen percent opposed such a law.

According to the poll, 65 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents and 87 percent of Republicans favored the legislation.

SB 2240 would’ve required any public school, university, or community college team to be either designated for those of one biological sex or the other (in addition to an exception for co-ed teams). It died without a vote in committee on the March 3 deadline.

The legislation also had a clause that would allow any student who reports a violation of the law and is retaliated against by the school or other athletic association to have the right to injunctive relief and damages. Another would’ve allowed a student whose bodily privacy was violated to have the same rights.