Dear Utah Friend of the Family,
Your calls and emails to the state legislators regarding Utah H.B. 11 made a difference!
As it stood when we sent you our previous alert, H.B. 11 would have allowed boys to compete on girls’ sports teams in Utah. This is because it created a commission that would establish eligibility requirements for students to compete on opposite-sex sports teams.
However, thanks to an outcry from concerned citizens like you, H.B. 11 was amended at the last minute to protect girls’ sports instead by establishing that:
“a student of the male sex may not compete, and a public school or LEA may not allow a student of the male sex to compete, with a team designated for students of the female sex in an interscholastic athletic activity”
Further, H.B. 11 now clearly defines “sex” based on biology as follows:
“‘Sex’ means the biological, physical condition of being male or female, determined by an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth.”
This was an amazing development and is why Family Watch now supports H.B. 11 and has signed on to the letter below which urges Governor Cox not to the veto the bill. The letter also provides important history and context.
The final bill is not perfect though, as it also includes a trigger provision stating that if the court strikes down the prohibition on males playing on female sports teams, that the commission we originally opposed for the many reasons stated in our previous alert would then go into effect. Hopefully, we can work with the legislature to solve some of those problems in the next session.
We encourage you to contact Governor Cox immediately and tell him to please protect girls’ safety and girls’ sports in Utah by protecting their right to participate in girls-only competitive sports.
Dear Governor Cox,
Please do not veto HB 11, STUDENT ELIGIBILITY IN INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES.
Biological boys should not compete on girl’s athletic teams. On June 23, 1972, Congress passed Title IX, which was to eliminate discrimination against women in athletics by allowing them to have their own sport’s teams, giving them fair and equal opportunities to compete. In June of this year, celebrations recognizing 50 years of successful athletic participation, are being planned across the nation. Utah would like to join in these celebrations as a state where girls are protected from biological boys competing in their sports and where Title IX is honored.
Girls in Utah schools should not have to compete against biological boys, for team positions and college scholarships, nor should they have to give up their position on the team to a boy who is bigger and stronger.
Representative Birkeland has worked hard on this bill for almost 2 years. She started out with a bill that would have been a complete ban on biological boys competing in girls’ sports. This bill would have passed last year but at the last minute, Ryan Smith from the Utah Jazz, came to the Capitol and met with the sponsor and legislative leadership and told them not to pass this bill. One unelected man was able to control what happened to this bill. Representative Birkeland continued to work on the bill throughout the interim until the session started again this year. She worked with Equality Utah, you and the legislature trying to find a solution. But anything that allows biological boys to play on girls’ teams is not a solution.
The legislature came to that conclusion after reviewing the history of this bill and what had happened in the 11 states that have passed bills to ban boys in girls’ sports. After receiving information that corrected some misunderstandings they did the right thing and passed the right bill. It is never too late to do the right thing.
The many organizations listed below represent over 100,000 Utah people. Please Governor Cox, do not Veto HB 11. Please support the girls in Utah Schools, by protecting their right to participate in girls only competitive sports. Save Girls Sports in Utah.