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Twitter gaffes from Utah lawmakers stoke criticism of transphobia

Monday, February 3, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — The leader of the Utah Senate and another state lawmaker are apologizing Monday after tweets sent from their accounts earlier in the day were criticized as transphobic and insensitive.

Jake Anderegg

Jake Anderegg

Rep. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, posted on Twitter that the private House men’s restroom was occupied, and he was “strongly considering a gender identifying change to use the open women’s.”

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says an intern whose job includes tweeting on the senator’s behalf used the platform to direct jibes at Anderegg.

The tweet referred to another lawmaker’s proposal that would bar transgender students from using the bathroom they prefer but would require schools to make another restroom available should the student’s family request it.

Both lawmakers apologized Monday after criticism from LGBT rights advocates and others.

In a later tweet, Anderegg called his prior comments “totally inappropriate.”

Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah, said the tweets demonstrated an ignorance of the “lived experiences” of transgender people.

Niederhauser said he invited Equality Utah to the Capitol on Monday evening to discuss the sensitivity of LGBT issues.

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5 more reader comments:

  1. He means it. There are many jealous bitches.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:36am
  2. These are Republican senators for making our laws and representing Utah they are both a joke and should be forced to resign

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:02am
  3. i’d be embarrassed to be that stupid. he obviously has no idea how the process goes. a) he hasn’t done his research. b) he hasn’t met and talked with a transgender person.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 10:09am
  4. The insolent ignorance of the religious right!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:38pm
  5. WELCOME TO SYRIA, CUBA, RUSSIA, IRAN, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, and…and…and…AMERICA: where Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is for the Heterosexual Male, only…WELCOME TO UTAH…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:19pm