Media Contact

Aaron Welcher, Communications Director,, 317.376.0468

February 15, 2024

Recently, we have seen increases in young people being targeted by adults/grownups for no other reason than existing and playing sports for their school. What leads to people with so much power acting with their worst selves against someone we all have a responsibility to look after and protect? To answer that question, we only need to look to the past few years of legislative efforts where one of the most powerful governmental bodies turned their attention to the actual bodies of kids with very little power.  And despite warnings of the consequences from kids, parents, teachers, medical professionals, and advocacy groups, we are seeing tragic and embarrassing results where adults are targeting children. We can’t be surprised when policy violence leads to community violence and leadership violence.

Let's be unequivocal: transgender and nonbinary individuals have always existed and been integral members of our communities, and they have the right to live openly and freely.

Over the past several years, however, Utah’s elected officials have enacted a series of laws directly targeting the rights of transgender and nonbinary Utahns, among them: HB 11 (banning transgender girls from competing in sports), SB 16 (banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth), and HB 257 (imposing prohibitive rules on using public facilities based on sex designation in various contexts, including transgender students using restrooms). These laws, alongside numerous other proposals, were flawed from their inception and represent a concerted effort to undermine a specific population's civil rights and liberties.

When those in positions of power single out and attack a particular group, it undermines all of our rights. Those attacks also create hostility for people in that group that doesn’t stop with the effects of the laws. Every elected official in Utah who has championed, voted for, or signed anti-LGBTQ+ laws bears responsibility for fostering an environment where transgender or nonbinary people, and even people perceived to be so, endure bullying and harassment from people who feel empowered and justified by the laws on the books.  

Until state officials repudiate these laws, we will all suffer the legal and social consequences they have created. It doesn’t have to be this way. We call on Utah’s lawmakers to repeal all laws attacking the rights of LGBTQ+ people in Utah that have created an environment of dehumanization, exclusion, and bullying.