FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, Miss. – Mississippi representatives today snuck anti-transgender legislation into a bill meant to bring opportunities to student-athletes.
HB 1030 was a bill supported by state universities, that would allow student-athletes to be compensated for the use of their likeness. The bill started as a good effort to protect our student-athletes and keep our colleges and universities competitive. Instead of simply passing a positive piece of legislation, the Mississippi House adopted an amendment that would discriminate against transgender women and block those students from benefiting under the legislation.
We call on the Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor to be serious about their job and do what is right – remove this ugly amendment from HB 1030.
The Supreme Court of the United States has been clear on this issue: “Discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex; the first cannot happen without the second.”
If this amended HB 1030 becomes law, it will be immediately challenged in court and struck down. In turn, Mississippi universities will not be able to compensate student-athletes and fall seriously behind in recruiting.
The Mississippi Legislature is prone to ignoring the U.S. Constitution and passing blatantly illegal legislation. But it is always disheartening to watch lawmakers so casually pass discriminatory bills. There were no hearings on this issue. The chairman handling the bill even admitted on the House floor that he had not read the amendment.
Instead of making the easy choice to move forward, Mississippi lawmakers chose to step backwards by embracing discrimination and fear.