Utah lawmaker proposes policy for transgender people to legally change their gender

Posted at 10:15 AM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 12:58:41-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill in the Utah State Legislature is creating a policy to allow transgender people to legally change their gender through the courts.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, made Senate Bill 138 public on Thursday. It creates a process for transgender people to go through the courts to get the gender marker on their birth certificate to match their gender identity.

Sen. Weiler’s bill has provisions — a person seeking a legal gender change may not be wanted by the law, for example, and the courts must hold a hearing.

The bill comes as the Utah Supreme Court is deciding what to do about a handful of judges who have so far refused to grant gender marker changes. The Court heard arguments last month brought by two Utahns who said judges have refused to grant their request to legally change the gender on their birth certificate to match their gender identity.

Sen. Weiler said his bill would not impact the pending litigation.

The LGBTQ rights group Equality Utah signaled some support for the legislation.

“We are working alongside Senator Weiler and our hope is to pass legislation that will provide dignity and respect to Utah’s transgender community,” Equality Utah director Troy Williams said Thursday.