SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted to adjourn without taking action Wednesday night on House Bill 302, which would exclude transgender girls from competing in youth sports in Utah.
“The decision by the committee is good for young people in Utah because students benefit when we set the expectation and example that all children and youth deserve to be included in their schools,” said Dr. Candice Metzler, Executive Director for TEA of Utah. “Being inclusive of transgender and gender-diverse young people benefits all students, because it creates a safer environment for everyone and promotes a culture where difference and vulnerability can safely exist.
Metzler said the struggle for transgender rights is ongoing.
“While this is a reprieve, for now, some form of this bill will be back again,” Metzler said. “I hope that we can find solutions by working together instead of targeting vulnerable young people in this way. The education and conversations need to continue after this legislative session has ended. Our work continues.”
TEA of Utah is grateful for the many individuals and organizations who spoke in opposition to this bill and in support of transgender youth.
While the language of the bill went through several revisions and many supporters focused their arguments on the concept of fairness, we urge folks to remember that transgender girls are girls. Falsely painting transgender rights in opposition to women’s rights is disingenuous and harms all of us.
All children—including transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming youth—deserve to pursue the same opportunities as their peers without discrimination or the threat of being outed by policies that are out of touch with the diversity of our human experience. To the youth targeted for exclusion by HB 302: We see you. You belong. You matter. We’re here for you.
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