Mississippi House passes bill that would require students be given 'option' to only dorm with same sex

'A female shall not have to suffer the indignity of having a male housed with them or be allowed to be put in with them," said one of the bill's sponsors.

Image Credit: Visit Mississippi

The Mississippi House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require state colleges and universities to give students the option not to share a dorm room with transgender individuals.

Mississippi House Bill 585, which was passed by the state’s house on March 7, would require colleges to “provide students the option to be housed only in a single-sex educational housing space with persons of the same sex,” according to the legislation’s text.

It passed by a vote of 86-26 and heads to the Mississippi Senate.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Republican state Rep. Gene Newman, told the Clarion Ledger that students have complained about the issue.

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”A female shall not have to suffer the indignity of having a male housed with them or be allowed to be put in with them,” said Rep. Gene Newman, R-Pearl, who presented HB 585 on March 7. “We have had students come to us complaining that they are being forced to be housed with a male.... that male is a trans woman.”

Senate Bill 2753, which is the Safer Act, and House Bill 1607, known as the Mississippi Women’s Bill of Rights, legally binds sex to gender and restrict transgender individuals from using bathrooms that aren’t aligned with their sex, according to the outlet.

Democrat Rep. Bryant Clark voiced his opposition to the bill, stating it’s unnecessary.

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”Why are you doing this bill?” Clark asked. “We know that in this state and in across this country, there is more than male and female, more than what you are born with.”

Under the bill, people who violate Senate Bill 2753 concerning bathroom usage could be sued or prosecuted by someone who alleges that their privacy was violated,

The ACLU of Mississippi also condemned the bills, stating they are “nothing more than an attempt to segregate and alienate transgender individuals from living life as they choose and prevent them from being acknowledged as citizens with rights.”