Jeff Case and Moth Case attend the House Health and Human Services Standing Committee as they hear HB132 and SB16, both transgender rights bills, at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
After another lengthy evening of emotional public testimony, Utah is another step closer to banning sex reassignment surgeries for minors and placing a moratorium on new prescriptions of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for Utah children and teens.
The House Health and Human Services Standing Committee voted Tuesday to endorse SB16, a bill that’s already made its way through the Senate. But the committee also voted to strike down a separate bill, HB132, that would have implemented a more hardline ban against both sex reassignment surgeries and medical treatments for transgender minors.
The committee’s 5-9 vote to defeat HB132, sponsored by Rep. Rex Shipp, R-Cedar City, was seen as a victory to LGBTQ community members and advocates who opposed the bill — but SB16 from Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, as currently written continues to concern groups including Equality Utah, which could lead the bill to be challenged in court if enacted.
Calling Kennedy’s bill more balanced and nuanced than Shipp’s, more Republicans on the House committee rejected Shipp’s total ban and lined up in support of SB16, which Kennedy, a practicing family physician, has spent months crafting.
Reps. Stewart Barlow, R- Fruit Heights; Steve Eliason, R-Sandy; Marsha Judkins, R-Provo; Anthony Loubet, R-Kearns; Ray Ward, R-Bountiful; and Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy, voted against Shipp’s bill but in favor of Kennedy’s. Only the committee’s three Democrats voted against SB16.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox says he won’t veto ban on transgender surgeries, puberty blockers for kids
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News