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Bill would ban transgender restroom use in schools

Published February 1, 2014 9:11 pm

HB87 • Equality Utah says it is misguided at the least, if not cruel.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rep. Mike Kennedy wants to ensure that school students use the restrooms assigned to the gender they were born with — as identified on their birth certificate or as certified by a doctor.

Kennedy, R-Alpine, introduced HB87 this week that would make that requirement, but allow transgender youth to seek special accommodation such as use of a private restroom.

He said he is pushing it because of recent passage by California of a law that allows transgender students to choose for themselves which restroom they should use and with which gender of sports teams they participate.

He said he is not aware of any problems with the issue so far in Utah schools.

Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah, said the proposal is "at least misguided and at worst cruel."

She said, "To require parents to provide proof of fetal type of a child to participate in school … is an invasion of privacy."

It is inappropriate, Balken added, to isolate children over gender-identity issues.

Kennedy's bill redefines "gender" in state law as "the male or female phenotype" of an individual as documented by a birth certificate or a letter by a doctor "based on a physical examination of the person's genitalia."

The legislation adds that a school should make available "reasonable alternate-bathroom accommodations" if a student requests such accommodation.