Utah Lawmaker’s Home Vandalized After Sponsoring Bill Banning Trans Surgeries for Minors

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
April 24, 2023Politics
Utah Lawmaker’s Home Vandalized After Sponsoring Bill Banning Trans Surgeries for Minors
A police car with flashing lights in file photo on Jan. 17, 2022. (The Canadian Press/AP/Matt Rourke)

The home of a Utah lawmaker who authored a bill banning transgender surgeries for minors in his state has been vandalized.

Utah state Sen. Mike Kennedy, a Republican from Lone Peak, shared photos of his home in a Facebook post on Friday, showing red spray paint on his garage door and driveway. Part of the graffiti message read “Fash” in an apparent shorthand for the word fascist or fascism. Another part of the graffiti message read, “These Trannies Bash Back,” an apparent reference to transgender individuals.

Kennedy, who is a doctor, introduced legislation that “prohibits performing sex characteristic surgical procedures on a minor for the purpose of effectuating a sex change” and places a moratorium on providing hormone therapy to new minor patients. The bill passed in both houses of the Republican-controlled state legislature within days of the start of the state’s legislative session and Republican Gov. Spencer Cox signed the bill, SB 16, into law shortly thereafter.

“The suspects appear to have targeted the senator based on legislation that recently passed in the last legislative session,” an emailed statement from Lone Peak Police Detective Melissa Fahrni states.

Fahrni said the police department is looking for the suspects involved in the vandalism incident.

Kennedy condemned the vandalism in a statement on his Facebook post.

“To those who seek to use violence, vandalism, and intimidation to deter me from standing up for what is right, let me be clear: you will not succeed. I will not be deterred by your cowardly actions,” Kennedy wrote. “The recent vandalism to my family’s home was not just an attack on me, but on the very principles our state stands for. We will not let fear and violence control our destiny.”

“As Utahns, we will always stand up and push back against radicals who seek to push their agenda in our state. I am more determined than ever to work with the good people of Utah to make our state a better place for all, especially our children, and I won’t back down,” Kennedy added.

LGBT Advocacy Group Condemns the Vandalism

Equality Utah, an LGBT advocacy group, has condemned the vandalism that targeted Kennedy’s home.

“We do not know who participated in this action, but we have been informed this may have been an act of retaliation for his sponsorship of SB 16,” the organization said in a Friday press statement. “To the extent this, or any other act of violence or vandalism against our public officials, is related to LGBTQ advocacy, we want to make it clear that Equality Utah condemns these tactics in the absolute strongest terms. As LGBTQ Americans, we know what it is like to be on the receiving end of violence. We know what it is like to fear for our own safety. It is never acceptable to replicate the violent or threatening tactics we have had to endure and target those with whom we have disagreements.”

Utah is one of several states that has passed laws banning transgender surgeries and other related medical practices for minors. Equality Utah said members of the LGBT community “are frightened” by these new laws, but warned that criminal behavior could undermine the progress they’ve made on behalf of the LGBT community.

“We don’t know the ideology of those who vandalized Senator Kennedy’s house,” Equality Utah added. “But we have repeatedly asked conservatives to call out extremists on their side, who verbally harass our community and attack our liberties with harmful legislation. In return, we now call out and condemn extremists who may identify with our side, who deploy tactics to intimidate and frighten political opponents.”

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