EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

House passes bill restricting transgender students in sports

Feb 16, 2022, 4:07 PM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 1:01 pm

trans athlete bill...

Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, left, speaks about transgender youth in school sports during a Health and Human Services Interim Committee meeting at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Seated next to Birkeland is Sue Robbins, who serves on the Transgender Advisory Council of Equality Utah. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House of Representatives has passed a bill that will determine whether transgender students can play in school sports.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Kera Birkeland, R- Morgan, passed 52-to-16. It will move onto the Senate. 

Transgender students in sports

It’s not the first time Birkeland has introduced the bill. She also brought it up at the last legislative session. This time, though, it doesn’t outright prevent transgender students from playing in youth sports. It creates a committee that would evaluate on a case-by-case basis, whether a student could play.

Birkeland took her time on the floor today to explain why it’s important.

“We have an opportunity now to od something that is bold, that if different, but that could potentially empower women for generations to come,” said Birkeland. “I think that we would be negligent in our responsibility as leaders of this state, to not take this issue up and brush it off as not as important as others may think it may be.”

Troy Williams from Equality Utah, a group dedicated to LGBTQ rights, says, at this point, it seems like there are only two choices. A full-on ban or that commission.

Governor Spencer Cox was notably emotional over the ban on trans students in sports last year, proposed by the same lawmaker.

In a statement to KSL NewsRadio, the Governor said he’s optimistic there will be a compromise. 

“We are grateful to both sides of this controversial and delicate topic who have come together in good faith to find a reasonable solution. We remain very optimistic that a compromise is close that will protect the integrity of women’s sports and respect the lives of our transgender youth.”

He’s set to give a monthly news conference tomorrow.

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

a helicopter shown, vertiport demonstration tonight...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: UDOT and USU to conduct vertiport demonstration

The Utah Department of Transportation and Utah State University will conduct the state's first vertiport demonstration Monday night.

3 days ago

West High Principal Jared Wright with James Yapias in front of west high clinic sign...

Amanda Dickson

Healthcare inside West High School

The West High School Clinic allows students to see nurses, pediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists right inside their school.

3 days ago

BYU nursing student Jane Pearson smiles before donating her bone marrow in late 2023....

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.COM

BYU student donates bone marrow to potentially save stranger’s life

BYU nursing student Jane Pearson is donating bone marrow to a stranger through the National Marrow Donor Program.

3 days ago

Students walk at the University of Utah...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: Who goes to summer school?

KSL NewsRadio host Amanda Dickson reflects on her first week of teaching summer classes at the University of Utah.

7 days ago

Disagree better toolkit...

Don Brinkerhoff

Local professors create ‘Disagree Better’ toolkit for parents

Professors created "Disagree Better" toolkit which includes free online courses to help parents teach kids ways to handle disagreements.

7 days ago

Samantha Corey poses with several members of the American Fork High School football team....

Kyle Remund

Deceased student will be honored at American Fork High School graduation following outcry

Alpine School District has announced that Samantha Corey, a student whose life was lost to cancer, will now be recognized at the graduation ceremony for American Fork High School.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

House passes bill restricting transgender students in sports