Utah Passes Bill to Regulate Bathroom Access for Transgenders

Utah is set to become the next state to regulate bathroom access for transgender individuals after its Legislature passed a measure last week that requires people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and government-owned buildings that match their sex assigned at birth.

The legislation also requires schools to create “privacy plans” for transgender students and others that may not be comfortable using group bathrooms, by allowing them to use alternate sources such as a faculty bathroom.

At least 10 other states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have passed laws that seek to regulate which bathrooms these individuals can use.

The Utah bill also reportedly requires any new government buildings to include single occupancy bathrooms and asks that the state consider adding more single occupancy bathrooms to increase privacy protections.

Under the new legislation, transgender people can defend themselves against a complaint that they are in the wrong bathroom by proving they had gender-affirming surgery and changed the sex on their birth certificate.

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Dan McKay, read a list of news stories about sexual assaults and rapes that have happened in bathrooms around the country, arguing that the incidents demonstrated the need for intervention.