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Tipsheet

Two Families Challenge Utah’s Transgender Athlete Ban

AP Photo/John Bazemore

On Tuesday, two anonymous families sued a Utah ban on transgender athletes competing on girls’ sports teams. The families claim the ban keeps their children from playing the sport they love.

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According to a report from the Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed in state court. The families argue that “categorical bans on transgender athletes violate provisions of the state constitution that ensure men and women enjoy equal rights and due process.”

Bans like Utah’s have popped up across the country after collegiate swimmer, Will “Lia” Thomas, made headlines this past swim season for competing on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania. Thomas competed on the men’s team for three previous seasons. Townhall reported how Thomas took home a Division I title at the NCAA championships in March.

In a statement, one plaintiff in the lawsuit in Utah said that “my last season playing volleyball was one of the best times of my life.” The plaintiff is a 16-year-old high school student.

The other plaintiff is a 13-year-old transgender swimmer. In a statement, the swimmer’s mother said that their family loves the state but is considering moving away.

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“It is deeply unsettling that the state would want to strip our child of the love and support she has received from her teammates, coaches, and entire sports community,” the mother reportedly said.

The legislation, which was put forth by the Utah legislature, was vetoed by GOP Gov. Spencer Cox. 

"We care deeply about Utah’s female athletes and our LGBTQ+ community,” Cox wrote in a statement on Facebook.

The Utah legislature overrode the Governor’s veto. Other states pushing similar legislation include Idaho and Arizona.

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