SPORTS

Would a national ban on transgender involvement in sports affect Utah’s ban?

Apr 21, 2023, 5:00 PM

national ban on transgender...

FILE: West High Students walk out of class April 6, 2022, to protest the state's new law banning transgender girls from competing in high school sports. (Lindsay Aerts)

(Lindsay Aerts)

SALT LAKE CITY — Could a national ban on transgender athletes competing in women’s sports affect Utah’s ban? One expert says it could make minor impacts if it actually made it through the U.S. Legislature. 

While it’s not expected to advance further, KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas said if, hypothetically, the national ban actually became law, it would likely supersede Utah’s law.

“You would assume that if the federal government was able to pass a law such as this,” said Skordas. “That it would trump, it supersedes any state law.

It would make minor changes since the laws are so similar. “They both have the same desired consequence,” said Skordas.

But, the sponsor of the bill that enacted Utah’s ban, Representative Kera Birkeland, says she actually prefers just having the state law.

“We just have an element that they don’t have regarding the commission,” said Birkeland. Meaning, Utah’s law takes a closer look at each individual case.

Birkeland also believes people are trying to be a lot more compassionate with this than people might think.

“I think people are really trying for the most part to balance what is passionate and kind with what is fair for women,” said Birkeland. 

However, it is important to note all situations are hypotheticals.

As pointed out by Skordas, even if a national ban on transgender athletes’ involvement in sports made its way past legislature, President Biden said he’d veto it.

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Would a national ban on transgender involvement in sports affect Utah’s ban?