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Mississippi governor signs transgender bathroom ban

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves Transgender Bathroom Ban
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Mississippi’s new law stands in contrast to the expanded federal rules against discrimination under Title IX.

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, has signed the Securing Areas for Females Effectively and Responsibly Act (SAFER Act) into law, mandating single-sex restrooms, changing areas, and dormitories in state public schools based on sex assigned at birth. The legislation prohibits transgender people from using facilities that align with their gender identities, with noncompliance potentially leading to lawsuits, although schools are protected from liability.

Reeves said Monday on X (formerly Twitter) that the bill aims to “protect women’s spaces,” expressing frustration that, in his opinion, such legislation is necessary under the Biden administration. “It’s mind blowing that this is what Joe Biden’s America has come to. We have to pass a law to protect women in bathrooms, sororities, locker rooms, dressing rooms, shower rooms, and more,” he wrote.

The SAFER Act, pushed through by Mississippi Republicans on the final day of the legislative session, is the latest in a series of measures targeting LGBTQ+ policies. Last year, Reeves signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors, describing the vast majority of medical organizations supporting such care as “pseudo-science.”

The signing of the SAFER Act follows the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement on April 19 of new Title IX protections, including the right of transgender and nonbinary students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identities. The updated rules explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, aligning with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.

Mississippi is one of at least 22 Republican-led states suing the Biden administration over the new Title IX regulations. The Department of Education announced that the new rules, which enhance protections against sex-based discrimination and harassment, will take effect August 1.

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).