UTAH (ABC4) — Utah state senators have voted to advance all three bills relating to transgender youth in the 2023 legislative session on Friday, Jan. 20.

S.B. 16, which will ban transgender surgeries for anyone under 18 years old, was passed in the Senate on Friday morning with a 21-7 vote. If signed into law, gender-affirming care for minors will be considered unprofessional conduct beginning Jan. 1, 2024, unless they have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria for at least six months.

Sponsored by Sen. Michael S. Kennedy (R-Alpine), the bill requires the Utah Department of Health and Human Services to conduct “a review of the medical evidence regarding hormonal
transgender treatments.”

Additionally, health care providers will need to hold a certification created by the Division of Professional Licensing to be able to perform gender-affirming surgeries and procedures. One of the requirements for the certification includes “40 hours of education related to transgender health care.”

Another bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel McCay (R-Salt Lake City) that seeks to prohibit the issuance of corrected birth certificates for children under the age of 18 also passed the third reading at the senate with a 19-8 vote Friday morning.

If S.B. 93 becomes law, it would mean teenagers in Utah who choose to be identified with a gender pronoun or name that is different from the one they were assigned at birth would not be able to legally do so until after they turn 18 years old. Essentially, the bill prevents minors who want to legally change their name or sex from obtaining a corrected birth certificate.

Utah lawmakers also voted 22-6 to advance S.B. 100, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross). The bill gives parents the right to access their children’s information at school, including their gender identity.

The Utah State Senate Democrats expressed concern about the advancement of all three bills and showed support for all children in the state. Their statement reads as follows:

“We are deeply troubled by the Senate’s passage of S.B. 16, S.B. 93, and S.B. 100. As Democrats, we stand in firm opposition to any legislation that restricts access to life-saving health care for our most vulnerable youth. Additionally, we believe everyone should have the ability to amend their birth certificates to accurately display their name and identity without excessive barriers and intrusion from government. All children—including our transgender children—deserve equal opportunity and equal protection in their pursuit happiness. As stated by many elected officials in our state, our children deserve the pursuit of happiness. Like the many parents who courageously came to the Capitol this week to fight against these harmful polices, we will continue to advocate for the dignity and care of all our children.”’