LGBTQ rights activists protest outside Governor Cox’s office

The Utah Senate Friday morning passed legislation 20 to 8 banning most gender-affirming health services for transgender minors in Utah.

LGBTQ rights activists stage a demonstration outside Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s office. (Ben Winslow|FOX 13 News)

SALT LAKE CITY • LGBTQ rights activists staged a demonstration outside Gov. Spencer Cox’s office on Friday night, demanding his veto on a law restricting health care for transgender youth.

“Trans lives are at stake! Governor Cox, please don’t sign!” some chanted.

Senate Bill 16 passed the legislature in its final vote earlier in the day after a series of emotional debates. On Thursday, Gov. Cox told FOX 13 News he had no plans to veto the bill.

Some of the same protesters were here in 2019 when they sat outside the governor’s office demanding action to ban conversion therapy. Then-Lt. Governor Cox promised to help them, and an ordinance was passed that did (a bill was introduced in the legislature this year to reverse this).

Ermiya Fanaeian said it was “disheartening” to stand outside the governor’s office and ask him again to protect transgender youth.

“He was actually wishy-washy about signing it into law or not,” Fanaeian said, adding, “He hasn’t taken a strong stance on protecting trans children, so I have no hope he’ll veto it.” No plan is definitely no plan to protect trans children from the consequences of these bills. So he must take a serious and committed stance to veto every single one of these bills because they will have serious consequences and trans children will actually die as a result.”

Protesters sat outside the governor’s office for about an hour on Friday until the Capitol closed. Utah Highway Patrol soldiers stood back and watched. The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah was also on hand to ensure the demonstration was peaceful.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and fox 13 are content sharing partners. LGBTQ rights activists protest outside Governor Cox’s office

Justin Scaccy

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