Late last week, the Utah state legislature put forth a bill that would ban trans girls from playing on girls’ sports teams in schools. The bill, which was pushed by Republicans, called trans girls “biological men” and claimed that they couldn’t compete on girls’ sports teams because they had an advantage and made girls feel uncomfortable.
During the bill’s debate, Republicans attacked trans girls and made numerous offensive remarks, at one point even comparing trans people with animals. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Republican State Senator, David Hinkins, said, “Even in the equine industry, they don’t run fillies against colts.”
Kera Birkeland, also a Republican, then tried to build sympathy for cis-girls, who she claimed, “feel like they’re the monsters, who can’t have a voice when they say that they’re uncomfortable playing against a transgender athletes.” Birkeland conveniently forgot to mention that many girls who feel that way have likely had these thoughts and feelings instilled into them by their bigoted parents.
Fortunately, Utah’s governor, Spencer Cox, has vowed to veto the bill. Though a Republican, Governor Cox is adamantly against the bill and is angry that it was written without his involvement or knowledge whatsoever. When speaking with the Tribune, Governor Cox even said, “Anyone that’s interacted with the transgender community understands how amazing they are and how difficult it can be for them. I don’t want to make things harder for them than they have to be.”
He’s vowed to veto the bill the second it arrives on his desk, meaning that Utah will not be joining the other 11 Red States that enacted transgender athlete bans in the last two years.
Activists have praised Governor Cox for his support of the LGBTQ community. the Human Rights Campaign even released a powerful statement saying:
Gov. Cox deserves praise for standing up to those who continue to target and attack transgender youth. Transgender kids are kids, and they do not deserve to be the targets of dehumanizing attacks that invalidate their identity. Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and learn important life skills like sportsmanship, teamwork, and healthy competition through athletic participation. Utahns deserve better than legislators who are seeking to bully transgender youth with politically motivated bills for the sake of discrimination itself.