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Trans People in Mississippi Face New Legal Threats Under Recently Signed Bill

Mississippi Governor Signs Controversial Bill Restricting Transgender Rights

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed a controversial law that restricts transgender individuals’ access to bathrooms and facilities in public education institutions, citing a need to “protect women’s spaces.”

The law, which takes effect on July 1, requires transgender people to use facilities aligned with their sex assigned at birth, rather than their gender identity. This move has sparked outrage among LGBTQ+ advocates, who argue that the law is discriminatory and harmful.

The law, known as the Securing Areas for Females Effectively and Responsibly (SAFER) Act, applies to all public education institutions in the state, including student housing, fraternities, and sororities.

Transgender Individuals in Mississippi Face Increased Discrimination Under New Law

It requires single-sex restrooms, changing areas, and dormitories, and defines one’s sex as “solely determined by a birth without regard to the fluidity of how someone acts or feels.” This means that even transgender individuals who have undergone gender-affirming care will be subject to the restrictions.

Governor Reeves has justified the law by perpetuating harmful stereotypes about transgender people, claiming that they pose a threat to cisgender women and women’s spaces.

However, this rhetoric has been widely debunked as transphobic and inaccurate. The law has also been criticized for its potential to lead to lawsuits against individual bathroom users, although educational institutions themselves will be shielded from liability.

This move is part of a larger trend of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Republican-led states, with Mississippi being one of 20 states currently suing the Biden administration over Title IX rules that require government-funded schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and changing facilities matching their gender identity.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ+ legal group, has pledged to take legal action against the new rules, claiming that they “ignore biological reality” and will harm women.

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