News (USA)

Utah’s anti-trans bathroom snitch hotline has gotten over 10,000 complaints

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Photo: The Gender Spectrum Collection

Utah’s online snitch form for people upset about transgender individuals using public bathrooms hasn’t been able to find a single legitimate violation despite receiving over 10,000 complaints, the State Auditor’s office announced. As a result, the office will no longer be investigating complaints for now.

“During June, almost all of the complaints we received were also frivolous complaints. We have completed our investigations and are not investigating any other complaints at this time,” they wrote in a news release. The auditor added that only five complaints were “possible good-faith efforts to identify potential violations” of the law, but most involved government agencies needing to update their policies to comply with the law.

The auditor said his department will continue to screen future complaints, but added that most of the submissions from June have been “bogus.”

The most recent alleged violation was related to the Department of Corrections. However, the agency determined no violation of the law had occurred. Instead, the auditor’s investigation called for the department to enact a privacy compliance plan for bathroom users in jails, prisons, and detention centers. The plan must detail how the department will comply with the law while respecting the privacy of individual bathroom users.

“The Office was unable to substantiate this allegation but during the investigation, we determined that Corrections did not have a privacy compliance plan,” the auditor wrote. “We reminded Corrections of its duty to adopt a compliance plan and have allowed them 30 days to do so.”

Additionally, there was reportedly a lack of a privacy compliance plan in the Capitol building’s gender-segregated and unisex bathrooms. Governing bodies have been given 30 days to draft such a plan.

Created in May, the Utah bathroom snitch form was developed in response to the passing of House Bill 0257, also known as “Sex-Based Designations for Privacy, Anti-Bullying, and Women’s Opportunities.” The bill bans trans people from using ‘privacy spaces’ such as changing rooms and restrooms within public schools that don’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. The law also applies to changing rooms in government facilities. Violators face hefty fines of up to $10,000 per day.

The snitch form requires people to report violations of this law, which can include trans people using a bathroom aligned with their gender identity in school or being on a K-12 sports team of their identified gender. The responsibility of enforcing this has fallen on the State Auditor, who has complained publicly about being forced to be a “bathroom monitor.”

Additionally, the State Auditor has stated publicly that he will not be enforcing individual violations, but rather violations at an institutional level. “We will not investigate allegations about an individual’s bathroom use, and we will not investigate or determine an individual’s sex or gender,” he said

The form has been flooded with thousands of joke responses, including animal genitalia, characters from The Bee Movie, and many memes.

Earlier this month, the auditor’s office investigated four complaints, none of which turned up any results of violations of the law. Two of the complaints led to them discovering a lack of a privacy compliance plan in a school district and a county’s office buildings.

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