SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Utah lawmakers advanced state-sponsored discrimination Wednesday when House Bill 302 passed the Utah House on a 50-23 vote.
“In my 15 years of advocacy work and almost a decade of working with gender-diverse individuals and their families, I have never seen a time when these young people have been more under attack,” said Dr. Candice Metzler, Executive Director for Transgender Education Advocates of Utah. “The messages being sent to them are damaging on a number of levels.”
HB 302 is one of two bills targeting transgender youth in Utah. Recently, a school in Murray made national headlines for their decision to suspend a reading program in a panic over a children’s book about a transgender boy.
This legislation is misguided for many reasons, but some of the key facts are:
- This is not academic, and openly debating the humanity of children has consequences. Transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming youth already face discrimination and bullying at nearly every level and are at greater risk to drop out of school or self-harm.
- This bill politicizes a non-issue by misconstruing basic facts: There are no trans youth competing in UHSAA events at any level, and a current policy exists. The NCAA and Olympic-level sport have inclusive policies in place, and there is simply no evidence whatsoever that transgender athletes dominate sport at either level.
- This bill wrongfully ignores complex biological realities. Human anatomy is diverse. Intersex conditions are about as common as red hair and include a constellation of chromosomal configurations. There is no single test that can determine someone’s sex at birth, and efforts to insist otherwise are about control and exclusion.
Transgender Education Advocates of Utah urges all Utahns to reach out to their lawmakers: Transgender and gender nonconforming children deserve to exist with dignity alongside their friends.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD:
You can determine who your Utah Senator and Representative are by submitting your information at vote.utah.gov.
Equality Utah has created a fast way for you to submit your thoughts on HB 302 to your state lawmakers, click here for that submission form.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES AND CRISIS LINES:
Trans LifeLine online: www.translifeline.org or by at Phone: 877-565-8860
The Trevor Project online: www.thetrevorproject.org or by Phone: 866-488-7386
Safe UT: Download the Safe UT App ,or call 833-372-3388