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Utah ACLU planning legal action against new law restricting transgender youth health care

Posted at 3:49 PM, Jan 30, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is planning legal action against a new state law that bans certain health care procedures for transgender youth.

Senate Bill 16 was passed by the Utah State Legislature on Friday and signed into law by Gov. Spencer Cox the next day.

The new law bans gender affirmation surgeries for minors and puts a moratorium on hormone therapies for any new transgender patients, effective immediately.

The ACLU of Utah confirmed to FOX 13 News that it is planning to challenge the law in a partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is a non-profit law firm specializing in civil rights issues involving the LGBTQ+ community.

"Trans kids are kids — they deserve to grow up without constant political attacks on their lives and health care; we will defend that right," a statement from the ACLU of Utah read. "With each incursion into the rights of transgender Utahns, we will use every avenue necessary, including litigation, to defend the civil rights and liberties of transgender and non-binary people from the legislators using their power to infringe on these freedoms. We see you. We Support You."

The group also pointed out that the ACLU is challenging similar laws in Arkansas and Alabama, and they are currently in the process of challenging a 2022 law that bans transgender girls from competing in female high school sports.

Cox said he supports pausing transgender medical procedures for minors "until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences."