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Contact: Hunter Estes, estes@mspolicy.org

Breaking: Senate Votes to Pass Fairness Act, Protect Female Sports

Senate Bill 2536 would require public school, university, and community college teams to be designated as either male, female or coed, as based on biological sex.

The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Angela Hill (R-Picayune) and has 21 cosponsors.

Polling of registered Mississippi voters shows that 79 percent support such legislation. The poll revealed that a state law to prohibit biological males from competing on female-only teams has broad support across political demographics: 87 percent of Republicans support the legislation, along with 83 percent of Independents and 65 percent of Democrats.

“Mississippians are breathing a sigh of relief now that Mississippi’s senators have voted overwhelmingly to protect the rights of girls and women who engage in competitive athletics,” stated MCPP Executive Vice President, Lesley Davis.

She continued, “Unlike what is happening in other states, our girls’ and women’s’ records will not be shattered by biological males competing against females. Women deserve to compete on a level playing field. Allowing males to compete in women’s sports destroys fair competition and women’s athletic opportunities.

“Mississippi owes a debt of gratitude to those in the Senate who stepped up and supported this legislation. We are especially grateful to Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann for his strong leadership and Senators Rita Potts Parks, John Polk, and Angela Hill. We also thank Speaker Philip Gunn, Rep. Becky Currie, Rep. Stacey Hobgood-Wilkes, and Rep. C. Scott Bounds for signaling their support in the House. Mississippi’s female athletes and future female athletes thank you.”

Three high school girls who run track in Connecticut filed a lawsuit last year challenging a policy of allowing male athletes to compete against girls. The three — Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell — have been beaten consistently in track meets by a pair of transgender athletes born as males. 

The lawsuit says the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s rules allowing transgender athletes to compete with girls poses a threat to Title IX because of physiological differences between men and women after puberty. Boys and men have more muscle mass and larger lungs and hearts and thus have the capacity to run faster and jump farther than most girls and women.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds. The law, passed in 1972, has led to a massive growth in the number of athletic opportunities for women. The NCCA currently allows member schools to set their own policies in this area, with the condition that a biological male competing on a women’s team must undergo at least one year of testosterone suppression. Several studies suggest, however, that even after a year of such treatment biological males enjoy a physical advantage over their biologically female peers.

MCPP’s Executive Vice President for Public Policy, Lesley Davis, is available for comments or interviews. Please contact Hunter Estes (estes@mspolicy.org) with all requests.

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