Example: Allie Carl/Axios
A controversial bill bills that would block gay-affirming health care and stop birth control for transgender children are moving quickly through the Utah Legislature.
Details: SB 16, sponsored by Sen. Michael Kennedy (R-Alpine) will also ban surgical procedures on children “because of the need to change sex.”
- It may allow patients to sue providers for hormonal and anti-menopausal drugs.
- Kennedy said he is proposing the law to allow further research into the long-term effects of gender-affirming medical treatment.
Yes, but: Last year, the American Medical Association said that “government interference” in gay-affirming medical services is “harmful” to children and adults alike.
- “Gender-affirming care is essential to clinical, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of people who are gay,” according to a statement from the AMA.
Main picture: So far 11 states, including Utah, have introduced matching funds this year.
Latest: The bill passed the Senate in a final vote of 27-7 on Friday and now heads to the House.
- “The House will have its way with this bill and I know it will change. I know everyone is interested in what this bill is,” Kennedy, a family doctor, said on the Senate floor last week.
Other side: “This could have a major impact on the mental health of transgender youth in Utah,” James McGraw, a clinical psychology professor at Bowling Green State University who studies mental health diversity among LGBTQ+ people, told Axios. “[They’re] actually having a whole way to get better mental and physical care for them.”
- Sen. Nate Blouin (D-Salt Lake City) on Friday read a letter from his law student, who is transgender, opposing the bill.
- “Even before SB 16 has passed the Senate, this bill has already affected my health and well-being and is causing a lot of trouble for Utah society,” he read.
- Democratic lawmakers have also expressed concern over the legislative process.
Between the lines: Kennedy said he would not set a deadline, saying he did not want to rush the investigation.
Flashback: Last year, the Legislature overrode a veto from Gov. Spencer Cox and passed a resolution banning gay girls from participating in the same school sports as their male counterparts.
- Its implementation has been suspended for now amid litigation.