On Tuesday, Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill that bans gender reassignment procedures for Mississippians under the age of 18, KTLA sister station WJTV reports.
House Bill 1125 also bans public funds or tax deductions for gender transition procedures, places enforcement procedures on the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure and stops Medicaid from covering gender transition-related care in Mississippi.
“At the end of the day, there are two positions here. One tells children that they’re beautiful the way they are. That they can find happiness in their own bodies. The other tells them that they should take drugs and cut themselves up with expensive surgeries in order to find freedom from depression. I know which side I’m on. No child in Mississippi will have these drugs or surgeries pushed upon them,” Reeves said.
Last week, Senators passed HB 1125 with a 33-15 vote. The bill was passed in the House 78-30 on Jan. 19.
The new Mississippi law took effect immediately. Reeves signed a law in 2021 to ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ or women’s sports.
Reeves is seeking reelection this year, and he signed the Mississippi bill into law less than two weeks after transgender teenagers, their families and others who support them protested against the measure.
Rob Hill, state director of Human Rights Campaign Mississippi, denounced the legislation.
“Politicians who don’t have an ounce of medical training are interfering with our rights as parents and acting as if they know how to raise and support our children better than we do,” Hill said in a statement last week. “Attacking LGBTQ+ Mississippians will not solve any problems or make life easier for working folks in this state. The only thing it will accomplish is to further demonize and alienate transgender kids who are already among our most vulnerable students.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.