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Legislation signed into law defining...

Legislation signed into law defining sexes, protecting single-sex spaces for women

By: Frank Corder - May 13, 2024

  • Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was pleased to sign the SAFER Act into law, saying “it’s mind blowing” that the legislation was even necessary.

Governor Tate Reeves (R) has signed the SAFER Act into law, providing protections for women in the most vulnerable of spaces while defining sex-based terms such as woman, female, man, and male using biological sex.

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024 (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

“Today is a win for girls and women across our state, and I was proud to sign SB 2753 into law. You have my word that as long as I’m governor, our state will do everything in its power to keep Mississippi’s daughters safe,” Governor Reeves wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to all of the girls and women across our state who stood up and made your voices heard! We are grateful for your efforts and proud of you!”

Authored by State Senator Josh Harkins (R), the SAFER Act was revived late in the 2024 session after it was allowed to die while in conference. Public outcry grew after reports stirred of the bill’s demise, and both supermajority Republican-led chambers soon passed suspension resolutions to bring the bill back up for consideration. Ultimately, the conference report passed in the Senate by a vote of 33-8 and in the House by a vote of 85-29.

The Mississippi law bucks the trend now popular in blue states of using gender identity as the defining factor in determining sex. Instead, the definitions of a woman and a man will be codified in Mississippi law based on biological sex. The measure also provides protections for women within single-sex spaces, such as restrooms, changing facilities and public student housing.

The legislation builds on the Mississippi Fairness Act, passed into law in 2021 which was also signed by Governor Reeves. That law prevented males from competing in girls and women sports. However, language that would have protected single-sex spaces was not in the final version of that law, meaning for those seeking to protect single-sex spaces for women additional legislation was needed. Hence, the impetus to pass the SAFER Act. 

As previously reported by Magnolia Tribune, Republican leaders across the country have taken action to preserve distinctions between men and women. In signing the bill into law, Governor Reeves said it is “mind blowing that this is what Joe Biden’s America has come to.”

“Having to pass common sense policies that protect women’s spaces was unimaginable just a few years ago. But here we are,” Reeves wrote. “We have to pass a law to protect women in bathrooms, sororities, locker rooms, dressing rooms, shower rooms, and more. There’s no doubt that the left will continue to come up with more kooky ideas that harm biological women. And there’s no doubt that Mississippi will continue to push back on them.

The Governor said Mississippi took action on the matter “because we have to — protecting girls and women from the left’s dangerous agenda is just too important to ignore.”

Opponents of the new law have labeled it as an anti-transgender bill said to be targeting an extreme minority. Democratic lawmakers, many whom opposed the legislation, have warned that lawsuits challenging the new law are likely to follow.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: