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Utah GOPers Slammed For Proposing Panel To Evaluate Trans Kids' Bodies If They Want To Play Sports

Utah GOPers Slammed For Proposing Panel To Evaluate Trans Kids' Bodies If They Want To Play Sports
Representative Kera Birkeland/Facebook

The battle over trans kids continues in 2022. Utah lawmakers drafted a proposal to create a commission of inquisitors picked by the state to evaluate trans people's bodies if they were interested in playing sports alongside members of their gender identity.

Utah Republicans, led by Governor Spencer Cox, would appoint a panel of medical professionals to examine children looking to enroll in their school's extracurricular activities. These panelists would then make decisions on the eligibility of the athletes.

Trans advocates are calling this a nightmare for trans children.

This "idea" is just the latest attack on the rights of trans children perpetrated by Republican-controlled states. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill banning all transgender women athletes from competing at the youth and college level in the state.

But having the state inspect kids' bodies? Many feel that takes the anti-transgender derangement to a whole other level.

“When we start talking about these ‘Verify that you’re girl enough, or verify that you’re boy enough’ [policies], these kiddos, they shake in their proverbial boots,” said Utah pediatrician Jennifer Plumb, parent of a trans child.

The lawmaker who sponsored the proposal, Rep. Kera Birkeland, has sponsored past bills in the state legislature to ban trans youth from playing sports, citing her experience as a junior varsity basketball coach.

“To those that think that I’m just trampling on women’s sports, or that this is a solution looking for a problem: All three of my daughters have played (against) transgender athletes. So this is happening in our state.”

However, there is already a (less invasive) review process in place in the state of Utah for transgender athletes, and only 3 students of an eligible 85,000 athletes have gone through it.

Several civil rights and liberties organizations in the state are attempting to work with the Utah legislature to change or veto the bill.

"We just don’t believe it is necessary for the Legislature to identify the specific physical characteristics that the commission consider to determine whether an individual teenager is allowed to play a particular sport,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah.

No updates have been made to the language of the bill as of yet.