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Mississippi Republicans fail to pass trans bathroom ban and law defining sex

transgender people exist and just want a safe place to pee
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Republican lawmakers could not come to an agreement on two bills before their deadline.

Two laws restricting the rights of transgender people in Mississippi will not go to a final vote.

With the legislative session in the state coming to a close, lawmakers had until Monday night to finalize the two bills. The Republican majority could not come to a compromise on the language in time, preventing them from moving forward, the Associated Press reported.

One of the bills would have prohibited transgender people from using bathrooms and changing facilities in public buildings that align with their identity, including in university dormitories. The other would have defined sex under the law as immutable from birth, stating: "There are only two sexes, and every individual is either male or female.”

The Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate each passed different versions of the bills, but were unable to agree on a single version before the deadline. Neither reached Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, who last year signed into law a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, and in 2021 signed a bill barring transgender athletes from from competing on women’s teams.

The state House passed the bathroom ban in April, with Democratic representatives likening the legislation to segregation. Jackson Rep. Zakiya Summers said at the time via the AP that the bill “reminded me of what my ancestors had to deal with at a time when they couldn’t go in the bathroom, either, and they wouldn’t dare stick their toe in a pool."

“They used to run on race, colors, and all of that,” added Greenville Rep. Willie Bailey. “Then they started running against people on abortion. Now they’ve got to have an issue on transgender — it’s just silly.”

More than 550 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced across the U.S. in 2023, and 80 were passed into law. In 2024, 487 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced, with just 21 passing into law, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.