The sponsor of a controversial bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports in Utah says she plans to bring it back in 2022, but she’s hoping to turn down the heat surrounding the issue before then.
The proposal from Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, died in a Senate committee in the final week of the 2021 session.
The bill failed to advance after Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith urged lawmakers to take a step back as he worried the legislation would have a negative impact on transgender youths in the state. There was also fear the issue could cost Utah several high-profile athletic events, including the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
Birkeland says she’s taking the opportunity to examine the issue during the summer and fall and is hoping to find common ground.
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