SL Co. DA criticizes bills against transgender youth

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake County’s District Attorney Sim Gill criticizes laws targeting transgender youth and signs a letter with prosecutors from across the country suggesting they will not enforce such laws.

Gill signed a statement with about 70 other prosecutors, which was released Tuesday by the Fair and Just Prosecution group. It criticizes laws passed in several states to block medical treatment for transgender teenagers (in some cases threatening doctors with criminal charges) or banning them from participating in sports.

“As elected prosecutors and law enforcement leaders, we condemn ongoing efforts to criminalize transgender people and gender-based health care across the country. These blatantly unconstitutional attacks on some of the most vulnerable Americans will deeply affect public safety, “the statement said. “We urge policymakers to stop this extraordinary overwhelming amount and leave healthcare decisions to patients, families and medical care providers, and we pledge to use our discretion and not encourage the criminalization of gender-affirming health or transgender people.”

But the statement goes on to suggest that prosecutors would not take action against doctors who provide transgender health care regardless of any passed law.

“Laws that criminalize safe and essential medical treatment or the very public existence of transsexuals do not promote public safety, community trust, or tax responsibility. They don’t serve any legitimate purpose. Therefore, we commit to enforcing laws that will not undermine the safety and well-being of our community, “the statement said.

“And we do not support the use of scarce criminal justice and law enforcement resources to criminalize doctors who provide medically necessary, safe gender-based care to trans youth, parents who protect the health and well-being of their children by seeking such treatments, or others People who use facilities that match their gender identity. “

In a statement to FOX 13, Gill declined to say whether he would refuse to prosecute as there is no law.

“I don’t want to speculate about a law that has not yet been written or passed. What should be crystal clear is that these anti-transgender laws have no legitimate purpose. Criminal justice resources should be used to protect our communities, rather than “criminalizing human dignity,” he said, “this is even more critical to criminal justice executives because of the disproportionate crimes committed against the LGBTQ community.”

Utah state legislature considered bills on transgender youth in its 2021 session, but passed none. The legislature is expected to deal with the issues again in 2022. They held hearings earlier this month on a bill preventing teenagers from receiving hormone therapy and another specifically banning transgender girls from participating in school sports.

Governor Spencer Cox has spoken out openly against the bills.

Read the full statement here:

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