Mississippi governor signs bill to let cis people sue trans people if they use the bathroom

Gov. Tate Reeves
Gov. Tate Reeves (R) Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) made a statement implying that trans people are a threat to women’s safety while signing a law that will allow cisgender people to sue transgender individuals for using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth. The law will take effect on July 1.

The bill, S.B. 2753 — also known as the Securing Areas for Females Effectively and Responsibly (SAFER) Act — requires trans people at all public education institutions in the state to use facilities aligned with their sex assigned at birth. The restrictions also apply to student housing, including fraternities and sororities.

The bill also requires the aforementioned educational spaces to have single-sex restrooms, changing areas, and dormitories. Furthermore, the bill defines one’s sex as “solely determined by a birth without regard to the fluidity of how someone acts or feels.” The law applies to individuals who have undergone any sort of gender-affirming care, regardless of their gender identity or personal appearance.

Individual bathroom users who violate this law could be subject to lawsuits, though educational institutions would be shielded from any legal liability. The law also says that the U.S. Constitution allows the law to discriminate between men and women in order to protect students’ “dignity, health, safety, welfare, and privacy rights.”

Gov. Reeves has justified his signing of the law by repeating the common transphobic claim that trans people endanger cisgender women and women’s spaces.

“It’s mind blowing that this is what [President] Joe Biden’s America has come to. Having to pass common sense policies that protect women’s spaces was unimaginable just a few years ago,” Reeves wrote via X. “But here we are… we have to pass a law to protect women in bathrooms, sororities, locker rooms, dressing rooms, shower rooms, and more.”

“There’s no doubt that the left will continue to come up with more kooky ideas that harm biological women. And there’s no doubt that Mississippi will continue to push back on them,” Reeves added.

Reeves has previously signed laws banning trans athletes from playing on competitive sports teams matching their gender identities and banning trans minors from accessing gender-affirming healthcare.

Mississippi is one of 20 Republican-led states that are currently suing the Biden administration over President Joe Biden’s newly released Title IX rules that require all government-funded schools to allow trans students to use bathrooms and changing facilities matching their gender identity.

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

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