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Utah panel OKs rules for transgender kids and girls sports

November 17, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A panel of Utah lawmakers advanced new proposed rules for transgender girls to play on high school sports teams Wednesday.

Students would have to complete one year of hormone therapy and change the sex designation on their birth certificate before they could compete on girls’ sports teams, KUER-FM reported.

Republican sponsor Rep. Kera Birkeland had previously proposed a failed bill banning transgender girls from female sports teams. She said the new plan comes after months of negotiations with several groups, including Equality Utah.

“I believe we have a policy that is fair, balanced and will accomplish the goal of preserving women’s sports,” Birkeland said.

Equality Utah attorney Clifford Rosky said the plan could earn their approval if it explicitly states that puberty blockers satisfy the requirement and the birth certificate requirement is removed. That can be an expensive and difficult process, he said.

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Current rules from the Utah High School Activities Association require a year of hormone therapy, but not a changed birth certificate.

Transgender activist Sue Robbins said she appreciated the work Birkeland has done to get closer to a compromise but she remains worried about other possible legislation that could restrict access to healthcare for transgender youth.