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Utah's bathroom snitch line hasn't found one legitimate complaint out of 12,000

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Utah's anti-transgender bathroom snitch line has gotten over 12,000 complaints — only five were investigated, and none turned up anything.

The Utah Public Auditor has been “unable to substantiate” a single violation of the state's anti-transgender bathroom ban out of over 12,000 complaints.

The state auditor released a form in May for the public to report transgender people who use the changing rooms and restrooms that align with their gender identity to state authorities. The form was meant to be a method of enforcing a recently enacted state law that levies criminal penalties against people who use “changing rooms" that do not align with their biological sex in government-owned and run buildings.

HB 257 changed the state’s legal definitions of “female” and “male,” defining the terms based solely by one's reproductive organs. It defines a “women’s bathroom” and “men’s bathroom” as spaces exclusively designated for females and males, respectively. Government facilities impacted include public schools, courthouses, libraries, recreation centers, airports, and some sporting arenas.

The form was quickly flooded with memes and joke reports upon its launch. Now, nearly two months later, the form still has not led to a single substantiated complaint after over 12,000 filings. Only five reports were deemed "plausible" enough to investigate, and each inquiry turned up nothing, the Utah Public Auditor announced in a statement Wednesday, via the Salt Lake Tribune.

The state auditor's office has struggled with how to enforce the bathroom ban since its passage, noting in its statement that it still does not have a “privacy compliance plan" in place. Privacy violation has been a key concern since the law's passage, as the form enables people to upload pictures to provide evidence of "incidents" while requiring the submitter's name and email address.

Despite the overwhelming failure, the Utah Public Auditor insisted it would keep the form up and continue to investigate the few reports it deems serious.

“During June, almost all of the complaints we received were also frivolous complaints,” the statement continued. “We have completed our investigations and are not investigating any other complaints at this time. As we identify credible or good-faith complaints, we will investigate those pursuant to the statutory requirement.”

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.