2021 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency
By: Senator(s) Hill, Barrett, Branning, Carter, Caughman, Chism, DeLano, England, Fillingane, McCaughn, McDaniel, McLendon, McMahan, Parks, Seymour, Sojourner, Sparks, Suber, Tate, Thompson, Whaley, Wiggins
AN ACT TO REQUIRE ANY PUBLIC SCHOOL, PUBLIC INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING OR INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING THAT IS A MEMBER OF THE NCAA, NAIA, MHSAA OR NJCCA TO DESIGNATE ITS ATHLETIC TEAMS OR SPORTS ACCORDING TO BIOLOGICAL SEX; TO PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR ANY SCHOOL OR INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION THAT MAINTAINS SEPARATE ATHLETIC TEAMS OR SPORTS FOR STUDENTS OF THE FEMALE SEX; TO CREATE PRIVATE CAUSES OF ACTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Designation of athletic teams. (1) Interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by a public primary or secondary school or any school that is a member of the Mississippi High School Activities Association or public institution of higher education or any higher education institution that is a member of the NCAA, NAIA or NJCCA shall be expressly designated as one of the following based on biological sex:
(a) "Males," "men" or "boys";
(b) "Females," "women" or "girls"; or
(c) "Coed" or "mixed."
(2) Athletic teams or sports designated for "females," "women" or "girls" shall not be open to students of the male sex.
SECTION 2. Protection for educational institutions. A government entity, any licensing or accrediting organization, or any athletic association or organization shall not entertain a complaint, open an investigation, or take any other adverse action against a primary or secondary school or institution of higher education for maintaining separate interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.
SECTION 3. Cause of action. Any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this act shall have a private cause of action.
SECTION 4. Severability. Any provision of this act held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any person or circumstance, shall be construed so as to give it the maximum effect permitted by law, unless such holding shall be one of utter invalidity or unenforceability, in which event such provision shall be deemed severable herefrom and shall not affect the remainder hereof or the application of such provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other, dissimilar circumstances.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.