Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill Saturday that bars minors from receiving gender-affirming treatments such as surgeries and hormone therapy. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill Saturday that bars minors from receiving gender-affirming treatments such as surgeries and hormone therapy.
The bill was one of two signed by the governor, which were also the first two bills signed into law this legislative session.
"Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation," Gov. Cox said.
"While not a perfect bill, we are grateful for Sen. Kennedy's more nuanced and thoughtful approach to this terribly divisive issue. More and more experts, states and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences."
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Michael Kennedy, bans providers from performing hormonal transgender treatments to new patients that have not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria "before a certain date." It also calls for the creation of a certification process for providers who perform hormone treatments and bans surgical procedures that alter sex characteristics on minors.
Violations can be considered medical malpractice.
The Utah Department of Health and Human Services is required to conduct a "systematic review of the medical evidence regarding hormonal transgender treatments and provide recommendations to the Legislature," the bill said.
Cox also signed a bill to increase compensation for public educators by doubling the amount of state-provided salary adjustments
"This bill strikes a good balance. More than 90% of parents support Utah schools and so do we," Cox said.
"Our top priority this session has been a significant increase in teacher compensation and education funding. We commend the Legislature for supporting our teacher pay proposal which will help address the state's teacher shortage and give Utah teachers the much-needed pay raise they deserve."