My name is Ellie Menlove, and I am the Legislative and Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Utah. Many impacted Utahns are here to speak today because this bill will violate their civil rights and liberties if passed.
The ACLU of Utah stands vehemently opposed to HB 257 as it raises Constitutional concerns, targeting our transgender and nonbinary communities. It aims to exclude them from restrooms, locker rooms, domestic violence shelters, and other vital community spaces. It perpetuates discrimination and eroding legal protections under the guise of protecting women's rights.
It is crucial to recognize that existing Utah law already provides criminal penalties for harassment and assault in restrooms, locker rooms, and similar spaces. While framed as a bill to protect women, HB 257 does no such thing. Instead, it attempts to enshrine outdated and inaccurate definitions of sex and families into law, expanding government overreach and promoting discrimination against transgender, nonbinary, or suspected transgender individuals. Simply put, this bill represents government overreach that criminalizes a basic human need.
Every Utahn deserves the right to live authentically – free from discrimination and free from the sort of government overreach that this bill would impose. This bill, and others that attempt to strip LGTBQ+ Utahns of their rights, are staunchly opposed by the ACLU of Utah.
I appreciate your time. Thank you.