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HB 11 - banning transgender school-aged girls from playing youth sports - will be tested in court

Transgender Sports Indiana
Michael Conroy/AP
FILE - People gather to protest against HB1041, a bill to ban transgender women and girls from participating in school sports that match their gender identity, during a rally at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Two Utah families filed a legal challenge in Utah state court Tuesday against House Bill 11, a bill sponsored by Summit County State Rep. Kera Birkeland. The bill prohibits transgender girls from competing in school sports.

The law, which the Legislature enacted earlier this year over Governor Spencer Cox’s veto, bars all kindergarten through 12th grade transgender girls from competing on girls’ teams.

A press release announcing the lawsuit said that unnamed minor students are transgender girls who are current public school students, love sports, and want to participate in sports with other girls. The families of these children are proceeding anonymously to protect their children.

The plaintiffs include Jenny Roe, a 16-year-old junior in high school who wants to play volleyball her senior year, and Jane Noe, a 13-year-old swimmer.

Their lawsuit alleges that by singling out transgender girls, House Bill 11 violates multiple provisions of the Utah Constitution.

Prior to the passage of HB 11, the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) had guidelines governing the participation of transgender students in school sports. UHSAA provided information during the legislative session that only four transgender students had used this process and that they had not had any complaints from students, families, or school administrators. Of the 75,000 students who play high school sports in Utah, only four are transgender and only one had played on a girls’ team.