A Utah state senator who supported legislation to ban transgender surgeries for minors said his house was vandalized in what appears to be a targeted attack by transgender activists.
Sate Sen. Mike Kennedy made a post on Facebook on Friday in which he detailed the apparent act of vandalism to his home. The senator posted a photo portraying the words “FASH” (a pejorative abbreviation of “fascist”) and “THESE TRANNIES BASH BACK” written in red paint across his garage doors.
“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,” Kennedy wrote. “I will not be deterred by your cowardly actions. The recent vandalism to my family’s home was not just an attack on me, but on the very principles our state stands for.”
Earlier this year, Kennedy was a vocal proponent and sponsor of Senate Bill 16, which banned transgender surgeries and placed a moratorium on transgender hormone treatments for minors. The bill was signed by Gov. Spencer Cox last January, much to the chagrin of progressive activists such as the ACLU who threatened to sue the state of Utah over the law.
The progressive advocacy group Equality Utah condemned acts of vandalism as unhelpful to LGBTQ advocacy in Utah while also comparing the act to conservative rhetoric and legislation to restrict transgender treatment for minors.
“We don’t know the ideology of those who vandalized Sen. Kennedy’s house,” Equality Utah said in a statement to Fox 13 Salt Lake City. “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. The culture wars are now escalating into real-world violence, and we all have an obligation to take a stand and condemn extremism wherever it manifests — be it acts of vandalism, or political acts of violence.”
Despite the attack on his home, Kennedy says he is undeterred in his support for the legislation, which seemingly occasioned the act of vandalism and intimidation.
“As Utahns, we will always stand up and push back against radicals who seek to push their agenda in our state,” Kennedy continued in his Facebook post. “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.”
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