LGBTQ advocacy groups to file lawsuit over Utah’s transgender-related surgery law

Jan 30, 2023, 2:22 PM | Updated: 4:23 pm
A West High School employee holds a Pride flag and an updated Pride flag that includes colors for t...
A West High School employee holds a Pride flag and an updated Pride flag that includes colors for the transgender community and people of color, during a protest against Utah Legislature's passage of HB11, which bans transgender girls from participating in female school sports, in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Laura Seitz/ Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz/ Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU of Utah will file a lawsuit against the new Utah law banning transgender minors from getting surgeries and limiting hormone treatments.

“We’re putting together a challenge as quickly as we can,” said Shannon Minter, the NCLR’s legal director, to KSL NewsRadio’s Lindsay Aerts.

Utah’s newly signed law bans gender related surgeries for youth, and pauses hormone treatments for any minor not already being treated for gender dysphoria for at least six months.

Minter argued that the harm of Utah’s new transgender law “is so clear.”

“If a child cannot get treatment they will be harmed, they will become sicker, they’ll become worse,” Minter said. “They will suffer very serious consequences…even life threatening consequences.”

He likened it to a child not being able to get treatment for juvenile diabetes.

“The state does not tell parents they have no right to obtain medical care for their children,” he said.

In a statement to KSL NewsRadio, the ACLU says they will defend the rights of trans kids.

“Trans kids are kids — they deserve to grow up without constant political attacks on their lives and health care; we will defend that right. With each incursion into the rights of transgender Utahns, we will use every avenue necessary, including litigation, to defend the civil rights and liberties of transgender and non-binary people from the legislators using their power to infringe on these freedoms. We see you. We Support You.

We are planning to challenge the law in the courts, which should surprise no one. The ACLU of Arkansas and Alabama have already challenged similar laws in their respective states. Here locally, we have our ongoing case involving prohibiting transgender girls from sports; this year, it is banning gender-affirming care for minors. We will be defending people’s rights at each incursion.”

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Mike Kennedy (R-Alpine) said the law was about protecting children, he issued a statement as well.

This legislation results from several months of thoughtful conversations with stakeholders to do what is best to protect our children. We can’t allow social policy to outpace science, especially when scientific evidence is still emerging and lacking in consensus. I hope we can continue working together to provide our struggling children with the support they need to grow and thrive.

The Governor signed that bill into law Saturday morning.

KSL 5 TV Live

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LGBTQ advocacy groups to file lawsuit over Utah’s transgender-related surgery law