‘Pushing children into transgenderism.’ Biden’s pro-LGBT orders decried by MS governor
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves didn’t mince words in his rebuke of President Joe Biden’s executive action aimed at combating discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The order, signed on Biden’s first day in office, provides sweeping protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and mandates that transgender athletes be allowed to participate in team sports based on their gender identification — a move Reeves decried as a “radical social experiment.”
“I am so disappointed over President Biden’s actions to force young girls ... to compete with biological males for access to athletics,” Reeves said in a statement posted to Facebook. “I just don’t understand why politicians are pushing children into transgenderism in the first place. I certainly don’t understand why the President chose to make it a priority in his first days.”
The Republican governor argued that allowing transgender athletes to compete in line with their identity would create an unfair playing field, limiting opportunities for young female competitors.
Since taking office, Biden has signed a series of executive orders reversing former President Donald Trump-era policies considered by many to be discriminatory against the LGBTQ community, including a previous ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.
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The president’s Jan. 20 executive order states that “all persons should receive equal treatment under the law” and that “ children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sport” based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
The move has drawn criticism, however, prompting a “surge in anti-trans legislation” by lawmakers in more than a dozen states, according to The Washington Post.
Bills that would bar transgender youth from participating in school sports have been introduced in Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky and Tennessee, among other states, the newspaper reported, citing a report by the American Civil Liberties Union. Lawmakers in South Carolina, Iowa, Indiana and Alabama are also pushing to limit access to gender-affirming health care to transgender individuals younger than 21.
The debate is also playing out on the national stage, with legislators on Capitol Hill taking up the issue.
“You don’t have a problem with boys running in the girls’ track, swimming meets, with boys competing with girls?” Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY), asked at a confirmation hearing this week, FOX17 reported.
Others feel differently and have welcomed the idea of inclusion for transgender athletes in team sports.
“Transgender students, like all students, deserve the chance to learn teamwork and to build self-esteem and a sense of belonging with their peers through sports,” Sam Brinton, vice president of advocacy and government affairs for LGBTQ group The Trevor Project, told the Associated Press.
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