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Mississippi bill restricting where transgender people can use bathroom dies at capitol

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Legislation designed to clarify who can use what restroom in Mississippi is dead at the capitol.

In an attempt to restrict transgender people’s use of bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings, Republican Sen.Josh Harkins authored the Securing Areas for Females Effectively and Responsibly (SAFER) Act.

The legislation deemed it necessary to provide male and female areas for each sex’s exclusive use. Lawmakers on the GOP side quickly voiced their support for the bill following an incident at a Planet Fitness gym in Alaska in which a transgender individual identifying as a woman was spotted on video shaving in the women’s locker room.

“We’re going to make sure boys go to the boys’ bathrooms and girls go to the girls’ bathrooms,” Republican Rep. Joey Hood of Ackerman said in support of the bill in mid-April.

RELATED: Mississippi suing federal government over expanded Title IX rules

Nonetheless, the bill, which received pushback from Democratic lawmakers, failed to survive Monday’s deadline and will not make it to the desk of Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

“It reminded me of what my ancestors had to deal with at a time when they couldn’t go in the bathroom either, and they wouldn’t dare stick their toe in a pool,” Rep. Zakiya Summers, a Black lawmaker, said comparing the bill to Jim Crow-era laws.

Though the SAFER Act did not come to fruition, Mississippi has passed its fair share of laws looking to draw a hard line between genders. Reeves in recent years has signed legislation banning biological men from competing in women’s sports and minors from receiving gender-affirming care.

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