SALT LAKE COUNTY

Proposed Salt Lake County ordinance aims to update changing room policies

Dec 7, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 11:18 am

Signage on the locker rooms at Central City Recreation Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 4, ...

Signage on the locker rooms at Central City Recreation Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Council proposed a new ordinance that would update policies on who can enter sex-specific changing rooms at recreation centers

KSL NewsRadio Reporter Aimee Cobabe was at the council meeting. According to Cobabe, council members said that the issue with the current policy makes it “impossible” to enforce changing room rules. 

“They’re saying they need to have something basically on the books with this ordinance, to say, if you are a man, you go in the men’s, if you’re a woman, you go in the women’s,” Cobabe told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic. 

The Salt Lake County ordinance would also require gender-neutral changing spaces. 

Cobabe said that enforcement responsibilities would fall on the director of the Division of Parks and Recreation. 

“They could ask for IDs. And to verify someone you know [say] ‘hey, you know, can we look and see what gender you are?'” said Cobabe. 

Additionally, Cobabe said that the division director spoke at the meeting. The director said there have been instances of lewd behavior. 

“The council’s thinking is kind of well, let’s just fall under those same kind of, you know, procedures as far as having some sort of enforcement here,” Cobabe said. 

Public concerns

According to Cobabe, some public commenters called the proposed Salt Lake County ordinance transphobic. 

“The council is thinking, well, the gender-neutral bathrooms solve that,” Cobabe said.

However, public commenters raised concerns that the ordinance isn’t a solution. They argued that it could cause more discomfort for those who identify as a different gender than they were assigned at birth. 

Some commenters also expressed that the ordinance would be “expensive and difficult to enforce,” according to Cobabe. 

For now, Cobabe said the ordinance has been tabled by the Salt Lake County Council. 

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Proposed Salt Lake County ordinance aims to update changing room policies