Utah Commission Deciding on Trans Athletes’ Eligibility Status

August 24, 2022 / Athletic Administration
A Utah commission that will determine whether transgender girls can compete in school sports matching their gender identity will soon go into effect, Utah Senate leaders announced late last week.

A recent story from Axios.com summarized the series of events that have unfolded in the Utah government regarding transgender student-athletes.

utahBelow is an excerpt from the Axios.com story.

The commission was triggered Friday after a Utah judge temporarily blocked HB11, a controversial law that bans transgender athletes from competing in girls’ school sports.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit that the families of three transgender student-athletes filed. They say the ban harmed and discriminated against their children.

Judge Keith Kelly wrote his ruling would only “allow [trans athletes] to compete only upon the commission’s determination that their being able to compete is fair under all of the circumstances.”

The majority of the School Activity Eligibility Commission will consist of seven members appointed by Republican state leaders Gov. Spencer Cox, Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson.

Under the law, the commission will include a mental health professional, a statistician, a physician with gender identity healthcare expertise, an athletic association representative, an athletic trainer who serves collegiate-level student-athletes, a high school coach and a sports physiologist. Commissioners will be tasked with evaluating student-athletes’ physical characteristics, like their weight and height, to determine if they can compete in gender-specific sports teams.

While the plaintiffs and LGBTQ rights organizations celebrated Kelly’s temporary injunction, others have critiqued the commission for being invasive.

“While parts of H.B. 11 have been mitigated, the injunction fails to shield transgender girls by allowing a commission to make a determination whether or not a transgender girl may play,” the Utah Pride Center said in a statement.

Commissioners will be announced in the coming days.

To read the full story from Axios.com about the potential trans athlete ban in Utah, click here.