Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed two bills into law supporting children and parents over the weekend.
One bill banned sex change treatments in the state for minors who have not been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and the other created school choice scholarships while increasing teacher pay.
“Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation,” Cox said about the sex change treatment ban in a statement his office released with the signing.
“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,” Cox added.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Michael Kennedy, who has an M.D. and warned that cross-sex treatments “lack sufficient long-term research.”
“But still, our country is witnessing a radical and dangerous push for children to enter this version of health care,” he said, citing the push for early-age sex intervention as an impetus to the ban.
As Cox noted, a growing body of research is now favoring a “watchful waiting” period for children who are confused about their gender identity, a psychological state which some say is being purposefully introduced to kids by LGBT activists.
Until the signing, it was unclear whether Cox would approve the measure or not.
Last year, Cox vetoed a bill that banned biological males from playing girls’ sports, a veto that was subsequently overridden by the legislature.
Cox also signed a school choice bill which will see the state spend up to $42 million annually on scholarships up to $8,000 per qualifying student for certain education expenses, including private school tuition.
“This is a scholarship program that is more akin to an education savings account. The scholarship amounts may only be used on pre-approved or otherwise authorized education expenses,” said Sen. Kirk Cullimore, the bill’s sponsor.
The new law also gives Utah teachers raises of up to $6,000, which Cox said “strikes a good balance” between supporting public education and providing families with choices.