Letter: Anti-humanitarian laws, such as gutting care for trans youth, are on the wrong side of science and history

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) People gather at a rally in support of transgender youth at the Capitol building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.

It is with heavy hearts and incredulity that we make this statement on what is obvious: The laws and policies recently passed by our Legislature – gutting care for transgender youth and denying the dignity of being able to legally identify oneself – have measurable life-threatening consequences to an already-marginalized community.

What is evident in our practices is also well documented; that denying affirmative care and denying the validity of people’s humanity leads to long-term and irreparable harm to both the individual and our society.

The hubris of believing that denying an individual’s rights, identities and dignity serves the greater good is the domain of fascist and totalitarian regimes, not the free and loving society we have built in this state and in our nation. These recent anti-humanitarian laws in Utah and nationwide, and those who vote to support them will find themselves on the wrong side of science, and more important to their legacy, the wrong side of history.

We are moved to speak.

We are writing on behalf of The LGBTQ Affirmative Therapist Guild of Utah, an organization of 430 therapists and voters in the state of Utah. Please see our website for an expanded statement and evidence-based research. Please also browse supporting documentation from many professional medical and behavioral health associations, which are responsible for defining our professions’ ethics.

Sincerely, the Leadership Collective of the LGBTQ Affirmative Therapist Guild of Utah.

Abby Crouse, LCMHC; Jared Klundt, PhD; Colette Dalton, LCSW; Colleen Kuhn, PhD; Kara Posner, LCMHC; Ken Roach, LCMHC; Jess Shade, LCMHC; Robin Tracy, LCMHC

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