Bill to ban sex transition procedures on minors fails in emotional hearing

Jan 24, 2023, 4:52 PM | Updated: 7:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers got an earful on Capitol Hill Tuesday during a lengthy and emotional hearing for a number of bills focused on transgender youth.

The House Health and Human Services Committee hearing lasted more than three hours. There was emotional testimony for and against the bills. The hearing room was packed and required overflow seating.

Two of the bills on the agenda have already passed the Senate: SB16 which seeks to ban sex-transition surgeries and put a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors. Also, SB100 that would prohibit schools from changing a student’s gender identity without getting permission from parents.

A third bill was introduced during the hearing. HB132 would have prohibited sex transitioning procedures on minors but it failed to make it out of the committee by a 9-5 vote.

Rep. Rex P. Shipp, R-Iron County sponsored the bill. He said, “No minor, especially one in emotional pain, is really old enough or mature enough or experienced enough to understand the lifelong implications of these procedures.”

Nicole Mihalopoulos, director of the gender management clinic at Primary Children’s Hospital disagreed with Shipp.

“Gender affirming is as equally as lifesaving and as important as treatment, asthma, autism, type one diabetes, or heart conditions. It is evidence based, widely recommended care that has developed to help transgender people,” she said.

After HB132 failed, the committee turned its attention SB16, which received a favorable recommendation and advanced with a vote of 11 to 3.

The committee ran out of time to consider SB100.


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Bill to ban sex transition procedures on minors fails in emotional hearing