SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Utah Governor Spencer Cox apologized for getting emotional during his monthly press conference yesterday (video below) concerning a bill that would bar transgender girls from participating in female sports in public schools. Gov. Cox said in the conference that he would not sign the bill if it came across his desk at this point. So far, the bill has passed in the Utah House of Representatives by a 50 to 23 vote, and is next headed to the Senate.
“Both sides of this issue are actually right. There’s a lot of passion, a lot of fiery rhetoric, a lot of name-calling on both sides of this issue that I think is very unfortunate,” Cox said at the conference.
He added that Utah isn’t the only state, nor is the United States the only country, making decisions about similar issues. Cox also expressed his hope for Utah to offer “grace” as it works to find solutions on the issue.
“If you have not spent time with transgender youth, I would encourage you to pause on this issue,” Cox said. “We have so many people who are at a difficult spot right now.”
Cox closed out his conference by saying he was still working with the bill’s sponsor, Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, on its details.
“We’ve gotten really good at the LGBQ side of things; we’re struggling with the ‘T’ side of things,” Cox said.
View the entire conference here.
Representative Kera Birkeland went live on her Facebook page the other week to discuss her position on pushing this bill forward and to address the backlash she has experienced for her legislative efforts.