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‘Bravo sir’, Star Trek star recognizes Utah governor

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 18: Honoree George Takei (L) and Brad Takei attend PFLAG Gives Thanks: Celebrating Inclusion in the Workplace on November 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for PFLAG)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A Hollywood star is over the moon after hearing Governor Cox’s statement on House Bill 302.

March 31, Star Trek star, George Takei applauds Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox on his stance on a House Bill that aims to ban transgender youth from participating in team sports.

The actor, known for playing Sulu on the Hit TV series Star Trek on HULU, took to Twitter and shared the following statement:

“This is quite moving. Bravo, sir. We need more of this compassion in politics, particularly from Republicans.”

House Bill 302 is crafted to exclude transgender youth from playing girls’ sports to prevent a competitive edge against girls. Representative Kera Birkeland says she cares about girls’ sports and would like only girls competing in them at game time.

“Girl, boy, special needs, it doesn’t matter. When they walk on to a team in Utah that is full of girls, they are going to be included because women are loving and accepting. All we are asking for is fairness when we go to compete in our sports,” she told state senators during the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Sponsored by Rep. Kera Birkeland, (R) Morgan, the bill passed through the House with a 50-to-23 vote on February 17.

A statement was then released by the Utah House Democrats criticizing the passing of the bill, saying:

“The passage of H.B. 302 from the House today needlessly targets youth who are already marginalized and vulnerable to mental anguish and suicide.  This bill also exposes Utah to time-consuming and expensive lawsuits and bad publicity.  To discriminate against transgender female athletes in Utah’s K-12 school sports is bad policy and reflects poorly on our entire state.  If this bill is enacted, Utah may lose out on collegiate championships, the NBA All-Star game, and the winter Olympics as well as the economic and reputational opportunities that come with hosting. 

‘The legislation is also likely unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution and Utah State Constitution.  The bill runs contrary to the spirit of our state’s shared values against discrimination and equal opportunity, and it exposes Utah to millions of dollars in legal fees.  The Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) already has rules and standards in place to address these extraordinarily rare cases, as does the NCAA. Instead of persecuting kids who deserve our love and support, just let them play sports and let us get back to issues that benefit our constituents.”

The bill then was sent to the Utah Senate. As of March 5, the bill did not officially pass.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...