Conservative group shares misleading video of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox listing his pronouns

The Zoom call was a part of a town hall with high school students last spring.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at his monthly news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

An April 2021 Zoom call of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox listing his pronouns during a town hall for high school students has spread on social media after a conservative group shared an edited version of it on Twitter.

The American Principles Project, a conservative think tank, posted the doctored, 53-second video to their Twitter page Tuesday that featured the Republican governor listing his pronouns during a Zoom call. As of Wednesday morning, the video had been retweeted over a thousand times on the platform.

“Utah is one of the reddest states in America,” according to the tweet. “Here is their ‘Republican’ Governor @SpencerJCox sharing his preferred pronouns with students while discussing ‘leadership with equity and inclusion.’”

The video in question was shared from a Twitter user’s account whose handle is @lifeisdriving.

The original 30-minute Zoom call was part of the One Utah Student Town Hall held last year, where Utah high school students asked the Republican governor questions about the state’s COVID-19 response and guns in schools. The edited video makes it appear that the governor listed his pronouns right after introducing himself. The statement is followed by the added sound of a sad trombone.

During the town hall, one student from Tuacahn High School for the Arts in Irvins listed her pronouns when called upon to ask a governor a question. She then asked what his plans were to boost mental health services in schools, citing a survey that found gay and lesbian youth face a higher risk for depression and suicidal ideation.

“Well, thank you so much ... for that question and my preferred pronouns are he, him, his so thank you for sharing yours with me,” he told the student before answering her question. His response could be found in the 18:06 minute mark.

The edited video comes weeks after Cox became the second Republican governor in the U.S. to veto a bill that would bar transgender girls from playing on school sports teams matching their gender identity. Utah Republican lawmakers quickly struck down his veto after gaining sufficient votes to override it.

Cox’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Paul DuPont, communications director for the American Principles Project, said the organization shared the edited video in response to the Utah governor’s position on gender issues.

“We shared it because we saw it as being indicative of a pattern from Gov. Cox of kowtowing to the woke left on these gender issues,” he said.

GLAAD, a group that monitors defamatory LGBTQ coverage in the media, recommends using an individual’s pronouns.

“Cisgender people rarely think about pronouns because the gendered pronoun people use for them is aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth. However, for transgender people, social transition may involve asking others to refer to them with new and different pronouns in order to better reflect their true gender identity,” according to GLAAD’s guidelines on pronouns.

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