Utah lawmaker’s home vandalised after sponsoring bill banning healthcare for trans kids: ‘Fash’

Utah senator Mike Kennedy

The home of a Republican senator has been vandalised, in a possible response to Utah’s anti-trans bill which sees gender-affirming healthcare for minors banned. 

Police were called to the home of GOP senator Mike Kennedy at 7.30am on Friday (21 April). 

A photograph shared by Kennedy on Facebook and Twitter shows the white garage door of his home vandalised with the words “fash” and “these t******s bash back”, written in what appears to be red spray paint. 

It is believed the vandalism was prompted by Kennedy’s sponsorship of Senate Bill 16, a piece of legislation which bans surgeries for trans youth and prevents medical professionals from providing new treatments of puberty blockers and hormones without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

More than 400 anti-trans bills have been introduced in 2023 alone, with Republicans across the US focusing their political efforts on restricting life-saving trans healthcare as culture wars escalate.

The Utah bill was enacted in January and was signed into law by Republican governor Spencer Cox.

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It was the first US state to ban trans healthcare in 2023.

A statement from detective Melissa Fahrni of Lone Peak Police, as reported by CNN, read: “The suspects appear to have targeted the senator based on legislation that recently passed in the last legislative session. 

“Officers are working diligently to gather evidence to find the suspects involved.” 

Mike Kennedy responded to the incident on his social media channels (PinkNews via Facebook)

In response to the vandalism, the GOP politician said the incident has not “deter” him from his political aims. 

“To those who seek to use violence, vandalism, and intimidation to deter me from standing up for what is right, let me be clear: you will not succeed,” he wrote on his official Facebook page, “I will not be deterred by your cowardly actions.”  

He continued: “The recent vandalism to my family’s home was not just an attack on me, but on the very principles our state stands for. 

“We will not let fear and violence control our destiny. As Utahns, we will always stand up and push back against radicals who seek to push their agenda in our state. 

“I am more determined than ever to work with the good people of Utah to make our state a better place for all, especially our children, and I won’t back down.” 

Equality Utah, a group which aims to secure equal rights for LGBTQ+ Utahns, said it “condemns” the vandalism in “the absolute strongest terms”. 

“As LGBTQ+ Americans, we know what it is like to be on the receiving end of violence. We know what it is like to fear for our own safety. 

“It is never acceptable to replicate the violence or threatening tactics we have had to endure and target those with whom we have disagreements,” the group said in a statement. 

The group went on to say such actions to not “help LGBTQ+ Utahns” but instead “harm our efforts to build bridges”. 

They added: “We will never achieve equality unless we continue to actively build bridges of understanding through mutual respect.”