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UPDATE: Anti-trans bill pulled from committee agenda

UPDATE: This bill has been pulled from Thursday’s agenda of the
House Health and Human Services Committee. Representatives from Equality Utah, TEA of Utah, and Transgender Inclusion Project have been meeting with the bill sponsor, who agreed to pull it from today’s meeting, according to Sophia Jean Hawes-Tingey. The updated agenda on the state website reflects the bill being pulled.

A bill by rabidly anti-LGBT Utah Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, that would forbid the changing of a birth certificate to represent a gender different from that registered at birth will be heard by a House committee Thursday.

HB153 – Utah Vital Statistics Act Amendments will be heard by the House Health and Human Services Committee Thursday, Feb. 14, at 3:40 p.m. in Room 210 of the Utah Senate Building.

The bill rigidly defines the terms male and female and greatly restricts the ability to change birth certificates once they are sent by doctors to the state.

“H.B. 153 is based on the scientific and medical fact that an individual’s sex is determined at conception by chromosomal make-up and is not subject to change or self-determination later in life,” Nelson wrote in a statement.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Equality Utah’s executive director Troy Williams called it “an egregious attack on the transgender community.” The ACLU of Utah labeled it “unconstitutional.” Former state Sen. Steve Urquhart, who pushed gay-rights legislation during his tenure, asked: “Why do they feel the need to do this?” Misty Snow, a transgender woman who made history in winning a U.S. Senate nomination, said it’s “a bad bill” built on discrimination.

“By defining ‘male’ and ‘female’ as requiring specific genitalia and declaring it immutable for the purposes of a birth certificate, Rep. Nelson is attempting to erase the ability of transgender individuals to change their birth certificate to match their true gender,” Transgender Education Advocates of Utah Chair Sue Robbins said. “The damage this bill can do to the Utah community is immeasurable.”

The fiscal note is set at $0, which obviously doesn’t take any potential lawsuits into consideration.

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