Cox Joins the Culture Wars: Utah Democrats Call Out the Governor for Turning His Back on Vulnerable Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ben Anderson, Communications Director
Phone: +1 (801) 830-0645


SALT LAKE CITY, January 30, 2024 — This evening, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed into law two out-of-touch culture war bills, HB 261, which bans diversity, equity, and inclusion programs from public institutions, and HB 257, which restricts transgender Utahns from using bathrooms in public facilities that are in line with their gender identity.

Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis released the following statement in response: 

“Spencer Cox rushing to make these divisive bills some of the first he signs this year is a perfect demonstration of the kind of governor he has become. Rather than placing common sense and good public policy over red meat culture wars, he has completely caved to the right wing of the Republican party in an effort to keep his political career alive.

“While Governor Cox might think it’s no big deal to throw vulnerable Utahns under the bus to secure his party’s nomination, there are real consequences to these culture wars, and real impacts which will be felt by communities of color and the LGBTQ community. We deserve a governor who will work for the better of ALL Utahns, and that’s why we’re working to defeat Spencer Cox and elect Brian King in November.”

We’ve seen a remarkable shift from Cox’s previous positions on these issues over the last few years: 

  • In January 2021, as one of his first official acts, Governor Cox joined several other Republican leaders in signing the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which said: “We advance solutions to racial ills by listening and creating policies that provide equal opportunity and access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare.”
  • In March 2022, Governor Cox vetoed a ban on trans kids participating in school sports, saying, “​​Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few.”

His pivot comes as he has faced mounting criticism from Republican activists, and as he now faces two primary challengers from the right-wing of his party.


“Organize Utah” is the Utah Democratic Party’s 2024 coordinated campaign, bringing together candidates, county parties, and other organizations in a unified effort to defeat Republican extremism and elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

For more information, please contact Ben Anderson at or 801-860-0645.

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