Bill Banning Gender-Affirming Care for Utah Minors Passes, More Bills Impacting LGBTQ+ Youth Being Discussed


Xiangyao Tang

Two demonstrators at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City before the hearing of H.B. 132 and S.B. 16 in the House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Both H.B. 132 and S.B. 16 restrict gender-affirming care for minors in Utah. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Vanessa Hudson, Editor in Chief


Gov. Spencer Cox signed S.B. 16 on Saturday, Jan. 28, after this article was published.


On Friday, the Utah State legislature passed S.B. 16, banning gender-affirming care for Utah minors. The bill now heads to the governor for final approval.

The bill is one of four pieces of legislation affecting transgender youth that have been proposed in this legislative session. Over the last two weeks, three of the bills, including S.B. 16, have gained traction, while the fourth bill failed to pass a House committee.

S.B. 16 sparked concern among parents and activist groups who say it harms transgender children. Hundreds rallied outside the State Capitol on Tuesday before the bill was discussed in a House committee meeting. 

Jeri Brummett, a conservative trans woman, said this bill places the state government between parents, their children and their doctors.

“God gave kids to parents, not the government. Each parent has the right to choose to raise their own children according to their own family values,” she said during public comment in last Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing

Other members of the public spoke in support of the bill. During the same meeting, Lady MAGA, a conservative drag queen, said this bill would stop the “mutilation and torture of our children.” 

After passing the House, the bill returned to the Senate for a final vote following the addition of a substitute that removed a sunset date on the moratorium for hormone therapy and added a provision allowing a child to sue a provider if they change their mind about treatment.

In its final Senate vote on Friday, the bill passed with a 20-8 vote. Two GOP lawmakers, Sen. Todd Weiler and Sen. David Hinkins voted against the bill alongside Democrats. Sen. Daniel Thatcher, who voted against the bill in the first Senate vote, was absent.

Now, Gov. Spencer Cox has 10 days to sign or veto the bill before it goes into effect. Gov. Cox told Fox 13 on Thursday he had no plans to veto the bill.

Other Proposed Legislation Impacting Utah’s LGBTQ+ youth

Sen. Todd Weiler’s S.B. 100 would require schools to notify parents if their child expresses a change in gender identity. In a Senate committee hearing on Jan. 18, the bill passed with a 5-2 vote, and last Friday, the Senate voted 22-6 to pass the bill through to the House for further deliberation. Friday, S.B. 100 unanimously passed a House Committee and will move to the House Floor.

Those against the bill said it would out children in homes without supportive parents. 

Sage Paulson, a transgender adult, came forward to speak in opposition to the bill during a Senate committee meeting on Jan. 18. They said the bill was ultimately a conversation around individual privacy and protection for children.

“When reading over this bill, we must consider the minors who do not have caregivers who want them to flourish as they are,” they said at the committee hearing.   

A bill from Sen. Dan McCay, S.B. 93, bans birth certificate changes for minors and passed a Senate committee with a 5-2 vote on Jan. 18 and passed the Senate with a 19-8 vote, moving it to the House.

Several were concerned with how this bill could harm transgender youth and argued it was unconstitutional. 

Lyla Mahmoud, an ACLU representative, said the bill not only threatened the safety and health of trans minors but that there are constitutional concerns as well.

“Courts have held that bans on changes to gender markers on identification documents violate equal protection and due process rights of transgender individuals,” they said during public comment at the Jan. 18 House committee meeting. 

A second bill, H.B. 132, proposing the prohibition of sex transitioning procedures for minors failed a House committee meeting on Tuesday.

H.B. 132 was a harder ban than S.B. 16, which passed despite opposition from some Republican representatives, according to Deseret News.


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