Monday the Utah House of Representatives passed a bill restricting transgender people from using bathrooms or locker rooms unless the room matches the person's gender on his or her birth certificate.
The exception to HB 257 would be if the person has undergone gender reassignment surgery and has legally changed their name to match their "new" gender.
The bill would apply to all taxpayer-funded buildings, including public schools, prisons, municipal buildings and even temporary shelters for survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Many opponents of the bill say the controversial law would bar some of these places, namely the shelters for the abused, from receiving federal funding.
Another snag has come up as well. The bill includes a "false reporting" clause, which would punish people who falsely report trespassing -- they could risk prosecution if it turns out they unwittingly misjudged the sex of the person targeted in their complaint, per the text of the bill.
To put it simply, if you were to falsely report that a manly woman or a womanly man went into the wrong bathroom, you could be charged with a crime and fined hundreds of dollars.
Some say the false-reporting provisions could criminalize good-faith complaints.
The bill, which passed the Utah House with a 52-17 margin, now heads to the senate floor after passing through committee and could be voted on this week.
The bill is sponsored by Republican state representative Kera Birkeland from Morgan. She told KSL "Currently today in the state ... any man could walk into any women's facilities, and there's nothing that can be done. Women and men across Utah want more privacy. ... This bill doesn't target anyone specifically, it creates privacy at all times."
Sextortion: The Dark Side Of Online Communication And How To Prevent It
Sextortion crimes, usually against young males, is rising at an alarming rate, according to the FBI.
What is sextortion? The FBI defines it as: "A serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money. The perpetrator may also threaten to harm your friends or relatives by using information they have obtained from your electronic devices unless you comply with their demands."
It's shady. It's scary. And it's growing.
More from the FBI:
Sextortion can start on any site, app, messaging platform, or game where people meet and communicate. In some cases, the first contact from the criminal will be a threat. The person may claim to already have a revealing picture or video of a child that will be shared if the victim does not send more pictures. More often, however, this crime starts when young people believe they are communicating with someone their own age who is interested in a relationship or with someone who is offering something of value.
After the criminals have one or more videos or pictures, they threaten to publish that content, or they threaten violence, to get the victim to produce more images. The shame, fear, and confusion children feel when they are caught in this cycle often prevents them from asking for help or reporting the abuse. Caregivers and young people should understand how the crime occurs and openly discuss online safety.
The FBI says the perpetrators of this crime usually ask for money and the victims often believe that after the ransom is paid, the problem will go away. In fact, the opposite is usually true as the criminal is emboldened by the payoff and asks for more money.
Instead of trying to appease the sextortionists, the FBI recommends stopping the crime before it gets out of hand by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or going to the website tips.fbi.gov.
Experience Breathtaking Views Of Southern Utah With A Virtual Flight On Google Earth
If you ask the average person what superpower they would like, you might get replies like, "X-ray vision,'" or "Super speed," or even "Limitless strength."
But a large portion of people would definitely respond that it would be super cool to be able to fly.
The ability to get somewhere fast, without having to worry about traffic lights or roadways, would be amazing.
And the ability get to the top of a mountain or rescue your cat from the top of a tree would also be outstanding.
But the biggest thing might be the view.
Imagine the incredible vistas, the new perspectives, the chance to reevaluate how you look at the world.
While getting a wish for superpowers granted would be fun, it's highly unlikely that a genie is going to drop in at your house and ask what you want.
Spending a few minutes on Google Earth is about as close as we're going to be able to get.
That's what I did and it was fun to get a new perspective on some of the sites and locales that make us unique here in southern Utah.
While the photos are a few years old and we're still growing like crazy here in this area, I screen-capped a few of the hot spots to give you a new perspective.
Chick-fil-A Might Just Owe You Some Money
A recent lawsuit against Chick-fil-A has been settled, with the retail chicken restaurant agreeing to pay hundreds, perhaps thousands of customers for deceptive advertising.
The bad news: you have to have ordered from their delivery menu in the states of California, Florida, New York, New Jersey or Georgia.
But if you were in any of those states in 2019, 2020 or the first half of 2021, you may be entitled to a $29.25 gift card.
The claims must be made by Feb. 15 and the amount of money Chick-fil-A must pay is finite, meaning a high number of claimants may mean less money for each.
Apparently Chick-fil-A raised its prices on its delivery menu without informing the consumer, despite claims of "free delivery" or "low prices.
There is a page created for those wishing to make a claim against Chick-fil-A here.
According to the settlement page,
- Eligible Settlement Class Members who elect to receive a Cash Settlement Award will receive a cash payment up to $29.25.
- Eligible Settlement Class Members who elect to receive a Gift Card Settlement Award will receive a Chick-fil-A, Inc. e-gift card with a balance up to $29.25. Sales tax will be charged on orders redeemed with the Chick-fil-A, Inc. e-gift card.
Chick-fil-A is a fast-food chicken restaurant that was founded in 1946 by a gentleman named Truett Cathy. The restaurant, with two locations in St. George, is immensely popular, especially its chicken sandwich with breaded, fried chicken breasts.
The restaurant has been in the news lately for its refusal to stay open on Sundays.
The Chick-fil-A website defends the practice with this statement:
"Our founder, Truett Cathy, made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest, enjoy time with their families and loved ones or worship if they choose — a practice we uphold today."
Industry insiders say the restaurant loses out on perhaps $1-billion a year by being closed on Sundays.