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Senate committee gives OK for chamber to hear bill on transgender-related surgeries

Jan 18, 2023, 4:26 PM | Updated: Jan 19, 2023, 10:00 am
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FILE: Snow piles up at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Senate committee gave the OK for the full chamber to hear a bill on banning transgender-related surgeries Wednesday afternoon. The committee passed an amended version of SB16, which puts a ban on puberty blockers for minors and prohibits sex-characteristic surgical procedures or sex changes.

Two other bills addressing concerns around transgender youth are scheduled to be debated Wednesday, the second day of the 2023 Utah Legislative Session.

SB100 prohibits school districts from changing the identity of students’ gender without permission from parents and SB93 prohibits a name change or gender change on a birth certificate.

The debate was heavy on both sides of the aisle.

Chloe who was at the Capitol to support SB16, said she was a teenager when she decided to have a sex change, and it was the worst decision she could make.

“The doctors coerced me into making a horrible decision and my child was destroyed for the sake of medical experimentation. I went off hormones and I wanted to be what I always was and will forever be a woman.”

But parents of transgender kids said the medication and puberty blockers did work for their kids.

“The therapy medication that he has received has helped him, developed him into a growing young man who is comfortable with who he is for the first time.”

“What I have been blessed to see is my daughter blossom as she received proper counseling medical procedures>

Sen. Mike Kennedy (R-Alpine) has a bill that would punish doctors who perform transgender-related surgeries on minors. An amendment to his bill would add restrictions on puberty blockers.

“I want this bill to be firm,” he said. “I want it to be responsible and I want it to be compassionate.”

In the future, he insists that the law will only change the rules between patients and doctors.

Additionally, Kennedy admits this could be opening the door to lawsuits.

The Health and Human Services Committee will also hear debate on two other transgender-related bills. The first prevents minors from changing their birth certificates. The second prohibits schools from allowing students to change their preferred pronouns without the permission of a parent.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.
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Senate committee gives OK for chamber to hear bill on transgender-related surgeries