The Women’s Democratic Club of Utah applauds Governor Cox’s veto HB00111. It was a “wrong-headed hate bill,” passed through last minute legislative game-playing, and aimed at the most vulnerable among us—the ~0.6% who identify as transgender2. Thus, the Legislature’s effort to override that veto adds insult to injury.
- Many shades of grey lie between black and white. Similarly, the binary nature of gender is a myth, as shown in the reality of biologically intersex persons and in a continuum of gender identity and expression that range from “girly girls” to “macho males”. As with sexual orientation, gender is an innate attribute--accept, respect, and celebrate it.
- Athletic ability depends on more than testosterone levels and body build. Thus, those attributes should not be used to justify discrimination against trans students.
- Transgender youth are already at extraordinarily high risk of abandonment, physical and sexual abuse, depression, and suicide3. The ostracization inherent in this bill puts them at greater risk.
- Transgender youth disproportionately avoid participation in athletics due to perceived risks. Thus, they, rather than their cis counterparts, need safe access to the potentially life-saving mental health benefits team sports.4
- The US Supreme Court (Bostock v Clayton County) upheld the right to use restrooms according to one’s self-designated gender identity, a ruling this administration interpreted to imply similar protections under Title IX3. Thus, HB0011 sets Utah up for protracted court fights.
Thus, we stand firmly with our transgender family members and friends, along with the broader LGBTQ+ community. They deserve support, not the deadly legislative bullying. Utah is better than this. Thank you again, Governor Cox, for your veto. Shame on every legislator who voices concern about suicide risk and then votes to overturn it.