Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

UPDATED: JANUARY 28, 2023 AT 10:27 AM
Digital Content Producer

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox signed and released a statement on the Transgender Medical Treatment and Procedures bill on Saturday.

Gov. Cox released this statement regarding the bill.

“Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation. While not a perfect bill, we are grateful for Sen. Kennedy’s more nuanced and thoughtful approach to this terribly divisive issue. More and more experts, states and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences.”

The transgender healthcare bill passed in the Utah House Thursday after last-minute changes. Those changes sent the bill back to the Senate, which passed the bill Friday.

Gov. Cox had this to say regarding his endorsement of the bill.

“We will continue to push the Legislature for additional resources to organizations that work to help this important Utah community. While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us, we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures.”

Transgender Medical Treatment and Procedures bill

The bill, SB16, bans gender-confirming surgeries and places a prohibition on puberty blockers for minors. Gender-affirming surgeries are medical treatments that transgender and nonbinary people sometimes use to transition or alter their physical characteristics.

After the Senate passed the bill, the Utah Senate Democrats issued the following statement.

“Without question, we remain opposed to S.B. 16, especially with the addition of an immediate effective date and the serious consent and liability concerns that impact our health care providers. The devastating weight of this bill is felt by our trans children, our families, and our medical providers. As legislators, it is our responsibility to develop answers to these difficult questions, and the Senate Democrats are committed to continue working in this space toward compassionate, data-driven public policy. Additionally, we will always challenge these types of negative proposals and will work to mitigate consequences. To the families and children impacted today—we see you, we love you, and we will continue to hear your stories and fight for you and your pursuit of happiness.”

Eliza Pace and Aimee Cobabe contributed to this report.