A Utah Republican wants to legally erase transgender people
A Republican lawmaker in Utah has drafted legislation which would stop transgender people from changing their birth certificates.
House Bill 153, which was filed to the state‘s House of Representatives on Tuesday (January 22) by Merrill Nelson, defines sex as “the innate and immutable characteristics established at conception.”
If passed by Utah’s Republican-controlled Senate and House, and its Republican Governor, the legislation would also remove language which currently means that trans people can ask a judge for permission to change their official birth gender later in life, according to politics website Utah Policy.
Nelson defended his bill, saying: “It is a fiction to change the sex designation on a birth certificate—a vital record—based on fluctuating gender.”
“This bill is clearly aimed at hurting the Utah transgender community”
— Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah
He added that gender was determined at conception, calling this statement “a scientific and medical fact.”
Speaking to Utah TV station KSTU, Nelson said that “gender identification, based on one’s self-perception, may vary.
“While gender identification is subjective, a person’s sex, as male or female, is determined objectively by science and medicine.
“The birth certificate records ‘sex,’ not ‘gender identity.’ Therefore, gender identity should not be used to change the sex designation on the birth certificate.”
Republican legislation attacked by transgender activists in Utah
However, Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, told Utah Policy that the bill was “an egregious step backward for transgender Utahns.”
He called the Republican legislation “transgender-phobic,” adding: “This bill is clearly aimed at hurting the Utah transgender community.”
In a statement to KSTU, Williams said: “In 2015 the Utah Legislature crafted the state’s first legal protections for transgender Utahns.
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