Utah passes a bill banning diversity programs in government and on campuses

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Utah’s legislature became the latest in the U.S. to pass a bill Friday prohibiting diversity training, hiring and inclusion programs at universities and in state government.

The bill that cleared the state House and Senate by wide margins now heads to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican who has said he is likely to sign such a bill into law.

Headed into the final year of his first term as governor, Cox has shifted right on “diversity, equity and inclusion.” After vetoing a ban on transgender students playing in girls sports in 2022 (which the legislature overrode), Cox signed a bill in 2023 regulating discussion of race and religion in public schools to ban, for example, the teaching that anybody can be racist merely because of their race.

“I can assure you, after this legislative session, it will not be happening in the state of Utah, these diversity statements that you have to sign to get hired,” Cox said in a Dec. 20 news conference.