POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah bill targeting bathroom use and gender passed by Utah House

Jan 19, 2024, 2:42 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2024, 12:11 pm

Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, listens to public comment during a hearing committee on HB0257 Sex-b...

Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, listens to public comment during a hearing committee on HB0257 Sex-based Designations for Privacy, Anti-bullying, and Women’s Opportunities at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that’s earned the nickname ‘‘transgender bathroom bill‘ has passed out of the Utah House and is on to the Senate.

HB 257, brought by Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, requires people to stick to the bathroom that matches their birth certificate in government buildings. It says that individuals cannot use these restrooms, bathrooms or locker rooms unless they legally changed their gender on their birth certificate and undergone transgender-related surgery.

That bill also encourages the use of single-user restrooms.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration there.

In a hearing earlier this week, Birkeland isn’t doing that. KSL.com reports Birkeland says she’s just offering a way for constituents to feel safer after some reportedly told her they have felt threatened or violated by people who claim to be transgender.

Birkeland was asked by Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, for examples of inappropriate behavior, but Birkeland didn’t provide any examples.

Birkeland was behind the creation of a bill that passed in the 2022 session that bars transgender girls from playing in high school sports. Some of that bill is still tied up in a court challenge.

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Utah bill targeting bathroom use and gender passed by Utah House