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A State Banned Biological Male Transgender Athletes from Women’s Sports. How Many Residents Support It?

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Townhall reported last month how Utah's Republican Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed a bill put forth by the state legislature that would prohibit biological male transgender student-athletes from competing in women's sports. This came after GOP Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a similar bill in his state, as Townhall also covered.

However, Utah lawmakers overrode the governor's veto. Salt Lake City-based publication Deseret News conducted a poll this month to see how many residents support the legislation. 

The poll, which surveyed 804 registered voters and was conducted from April 5 to April 12, found that the majority of Utah residents support the law, HB 11, barring transgender athletes from women's sports. 

"Forty-four percent said they strongly support the law, while 10% said they somewhat support it. Conversely, 9% said they somewhat oppose HB11 while 30% said they strongly oppose it. Seven percent responded 'don’t know.' The poll has a plus or minus 3.46% margin of error.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, said during committee and floor debate that she sponsored HB11 to preserve the integrity of girls athletics. Some lawmakers said they supported the final version of the legislation to protect their daughters.

'Standing up for Utah’s female athletes has always been my goal, and I am encouraged that a majority of Utahns feel similarly,' Birkeland said in a statement responding to the poll results.

The results revealed that more than half of the men polled — 51% — strongly supported the legislation, compared to 37% of women. Sixty-one percent of men either strongly or somewhat supported the law while 47% of women were in support. Nearly as many women — 46% — said they somewhat or strongly opposed HB11."

In recent weeks, several GOP governors have recently signed legislation to protect women's sports, such as Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. 


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