Utah House votes down proposed study of transgender youth

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, asks a question during the Health and Human Services Interim Committee hearing in Salt Lake City on Monday Nov. 26, 2018.

House lawmakers on Monday tossed out a bill that called for a study of the “diagnosis, treatment, and care” of transgender minors and of a hormone sometimes used to delay puberty.

Rep. Brad Daw told his House colleagues that some of the medications prescribed for transgender youth “give me great cause for concern" and asked them to approve a review of the scientific research on the subject. Without any debate, the chamber rejected his request by a resounding 17-55 vote.

After the vote, Sue Robbins, a transgender advocate, tweeted that “we are done in Utah” with bills targeting the transgender community.

The legislation would’ve asked the Utah Department of Health to select one or more medical experts to study the care of transgender minors and, more specifically, certain hormone treatments. The bill, HB449, indicated that the results of the review should be ready for presentation to state lawmakers by Nov. 30.

The bill is quite a distance from the legislation Daw, R-Orem, initially had in mind, which would’ve banned surgeries for transgender minors. Daw said his original proposal “met with significant resistance and a lot of concern from the community,” so he opted to ask for a study instead.

Equality Utah had expressed “significant concerns about the scientific validity” of the proposed study and whether it would be based on unbiased research. However, the group Monday night also thanked Daw for “compassionately listening to transgender youth" and backing off his initial ban proposal.