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Three bills related to transgender minors are brought to the Senate

Two people sit in the public speaker chairs at the Utah Senate. One is speaking while the other writes on a pad beside them. There are a few people visible in the audience behind.
Utah State Legislature
Two public speakers addressing the Senate about S.B. 16, which would restrict transgender healthcare for minors.

Of five bills discussed by the Senate in the Health and Human Services committee on Wednesday, three were related to the restriction of transgender care and self-identification for minors.

S.B. 16, sponsored by Michael S. Kennedy, a republican from Alpine, Utah, prohibits minors from undergoing surgery for the purpose of an “attempted sex change,” which is defined by the bill as an effort or attempt to change a person’s body to present as a different sex or gender from the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

This includes both primary sex characteristic surgeries, such as a hysterectomy or castration, and secondary sex characteristic surgeries, such as a mastectomy or facial feminization. The affected surgeries are not prohibited if they are done for other medical reasons. Certain intersex persons, such as those with “irresolvably ambiguous” genitalia, are exempt from these prohibitions.

The bill also sets more requirements health care providers must meet before doing hormonal treatments for transgender patients and prohibits them from “providing a hormonal transgender treatment to patients who have not previously received a hormonal transgender treatment.”

S.B. 100, sponsored by Todd D. Weiler, a republican from Woods Cross, seeks to prohibit schools from treating students as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth if it’s without parental consent. Schools are also not allowed to stop parents from accessing information about their child or to interfere with their “primary responsibility to direct the education of the parent’s child.”

If the bill is approved by a two-thirds majority, it will take effect upon governor approval.

The last bill discussed was S.B. 93, sponsored by Daniel McCay, republican from Riverton. It modifies the rulemaking authority of the Department of Health and Human Services when there’s an error or omission to a vital record, but more notably, it only allows the state registrar to process a name or sex change application for individuals over 18.

All three bills were passed by the committee and will next go to the floor for further discussion.

These bills also reflect a nationwide increase in anti-transgender legislation. Twenty states have proposed a total of over 90 anti-trans bills since the start of 2023, most commonly the restriction of youth healthcare, school or curriculum restrictions, and youth athletics bans.

Duck is a general reporter at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.