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HomeUnited StatesMississippi measure would allow detained persons to sue prisons and transgender inmates.

Mississippi measure would allow detained persons to sue prisons and transgender inmates.

Mississippi measure would allow detained persons to sue prisons and transgender inmates - The Hard News Daily

A bill before Mississippi lawmakers could allow detained persons to sue jails and prisons if they encounter convicts of the opposite gender, such as transgender individuals, in restrooms or changing areas.

The idea passed out of a House committee Thursday. It would compel inmate restrooms, changing rooms, and sleeping quarters in correctional facilities to be allocated for use by only one gender. According to the plan, convicts who encounter someone of the opposite sex in any of those areas may sue the institution.

Correctional facilities in the state are already sex-segregated, and Republican Rep. Gene Newman, the bill’s sponsor, could not provide an example of a Mississippi facility requiring a prisoner to share space with someone of the opposite gender. Instead, Newman stated that he introduced the bill in response to persons in other regions of the country receiving accommodations based on their gender identity.

“It gives the inmate a course of action,” Newman explained. “Just watching what’s going on around the country, I mean, you have girls’ sports. You have men claiming to be ladies just to win. It will happen in prison. Men should not be with women. Period.”

The law defines “sex” as “a person’s biological sex, either male or female, as observed or clinically verified at birth.” It has no terminology about intersex people, who are born with physical characteristics that do not fit into traditional male or female categories.

According to Newman, the Alliance for Defending Freedom, a Christian law group, contributed to the bill’s drafting.

Mississippi Rep. Gene Newman, R-Pearl, speaks at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, on February 15, 2024. State lawmakers advanced a Newman-sponsored bill out of a House committee Thursday, February 22, that would require inmate restrooms, changing rooms, and sleeping quarters in correctional facilities to be designated for use only by members of one sex. If a prisoner encounters someone of the opposite sex in any of those areas, they may sue the facility.

A brochure provided to lawmakers, which Newman claims was written by the firm, cites a California statute that mandates the state to house transgender convicts in prisons depending on their gender identity, but only if there are no “management or security concerns.”

Transgender inmates are frequently incarcerated according to their sex assigned at birth. Advocates have warned that housing transgender women in male-only facilities can be deadly.

According to a study on California law provided by the state’s Office of the Inspector General, 382 persons have requested gender-based transfers by December 2022.

The state held hearings on 55 out of 382 requests, granting 36 and refusing 19. According to the report, none of the hearings during that time period involved incarcerated inmates asking a transfer from a women’s prison to a men’s prison.

The Mississippi measure was filed as part of a broader movement in conservative states to ban transgender athletes, gender-affirming care, and drag shows. This year, Republican lawmakers are exploring a fresh set of proposals that would limit medical care for transgender children and, in some cases, adults. This marks a return to the subject a year after a slew of high-profile proposals entered law, sparking challenges.

In 2023, Newman proposed a law in Mississippi that prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from receiving gender-affirming hormones or surgery.

The newest bill introduced by Newman is awaiting review by the full House.

 

(This news report is from a syndicated feed. THND team members did not write or edit the content except for the headline.)

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