Mississippi bill would let those incarcerated sue state over trans inmates

Author: Donald Padgett

A proposed bill in Mississippi that would allow cisgender inmates to sue if they encounter a fellow inmate who is transgender in a restroom, changing room, or sleeping facility advanced out of a committee on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

H.B. 585 named the Dignity and Safety for Incarcerated Women Act would require correctional facilities to segregate based on an inmate’s sex assigned at birth rather than gender identity and allow prisoners to sue in court under certain conditions.

The bill defines sex as a “person’s biological sex, either male or female, as observed or clinically verified at birth” rather than someone’s gender identity, and requires all restrooms, changing rooms, and sleeping facilities “be designated for use only by members of one sex.”

“It gives the inmate a course of action,” state Rep. Gene Newman, the bill’s sponsor, said. “Just watching things that’s happening around the country, I mean you’ve got girls sports. You’ve got men that are pretending to be women just to win. It’s going to happen in prison. Men shouldn’t be in with women. Period.”

The far-right anti-LGBTQ+ group the Alliance Defending Freedom helped draft the law, according to Newman.

Newman, a Republican, represents the Mississippi House of Representatives District 61 just outside Jackson. Last year Newman introduced the bill that banned gender-affirming care for minors in the state. H.B. 1125 named the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act, which banned puberty blockers, hormone treatment, and surgeries for gender transition for anyone under 18, took effect in February of 2023 and is still in effect today.

The bill now goes before the full House where it is expected to pass before moving on to the Senate. Republicans have a supermajority in the legislature and Republican Tate Reeves is the state’s current governor.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Donald Padgett

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