Utah House Bill 11 (HB11) goes into effect in July 2022, despite initially being vetoed by Utah Governor Spencer Cox. HB11 prohibits transgender athletes in the state of Utah from participating in girls’ high school sports. Although there are currently only four transgender athletes across the state of Utah who are participating in girls’ athletics, the state legislature felt the need to enact such a bill and prohibit their future participation.
As the Presbytery of Utah, we strongly disagree with this law, and we fully support all transgender people, including trans youth and trans athletes.
Laws such as HB11 are being enacted in a number of states around the nation. It is clear such laws have devastating impacts on transgender people, particularly trans youth. Trans youth often suffer extreme discrimination in their schools, sometimes from their families. This results in a variety of mental health challenges for trans youth, including increased suicide.
We believe and affirm the God-created beauty and worthiness of every transgender person. Transgender youth, like all youth, gain benefits from participating in school athletics: leadership opportunities, better physical and mental health outcomes, self-confidence, teamwork, and most of all, fun. Trans youth should not be prevented from participating in school athletics because of who they are. As the Presbytery of Utah, we will continue to work to repeal such laws and affirm the full humanity of transgender youth and adults, reminding our community that the love of God is for everyone, and Jesus calls us to continually share this message with the world.