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Mississippi governor signs bill banning transgender students from women's sports, approving first anti-trans law of 2021

March 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 43.4%. 2 min read.

TUPELO, MS - NOVEMBER 01: Mississippi Lieutenant Governor and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves speaks to reporters before appearing with President Donald Trump at a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at BancorpSouth Arena on November 1, 2019 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Trump is campaigning in Mississippi ahead of state elections where Reeves is in a close race with Democrat Jim Hood. (Photo by Brandon Dill/Getty Images)

Transgender athletes in Mississippi's public schools and colleges will no longer be allowed to compete in women's sports after the state's Republican governor on Thursday signed the first statewide anti-trans law of 2021.

Washington (CNN)Transgender athletes in Mississippi's public schools and colleges will no longer be allowed to compete in women's sports after the state's Republican governor on Thursday signed the first statewide anti-trans law of 2021.

Advocates of the bills have argued that trans women have a physical advantage over cisgender women in sports, while critics contend that they're discriminatory, including the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ rights group.

"This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair, level playing field in public schools," Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said at a signing event on Thursday.

The law, which prohibits transgender athletes from competing on women's sports teams in the state's high schools and universities, passed the Mississippi House last week by a vote of 81-28.

"It sends a clear message to my daughters, and all of Mississippi's daughters, that their rights are worth fighting for," he said, in spite of the fact that trans women athletes in the state are also daughters and are precisely the ones whose rights are being targeted by the new law.

A bill that would similarly ban transgender athletes from participating in women's sports in South Dakota has made its way to the desk of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, who said earlier this week that she's "excited to sign" the legislation.

Noem said during a news conference on Thursday that South Dakota's bill "isn't about transgender -- it's about girls' fairness in girls' sports. "

The Human Rights Campaign has also taken aim at Noem for her support of that state's bill, saying on Twitter earlier this week that "trans girls and their families are your constituents. "

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