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Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox Has a Lot of Explaining to Do


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National Review

The Republican leader — who presides over one of the reddest states in the country — has energetically supported some of the most radical aspects of woke ideology.

Nate Hochman

April 6, 2022

By most accounts, Utah is a deep-red state. Its Cook Partisan Voting Index currently sits at R+20, making it the second-most-Republican state in the country. It’s tied with Oklahoma, and outflanked only by Wyoming’s R+25 rating. But Spencer Cox, the state’s first-term Republican governor, has consistently toed a socially liberal line on many cultural issues that is wildly out of step with Utah’s deeply conservative voter base. As I wrote in March:

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The discrepancy between Cox and his state on social issues came to a head most recently when the governor vetoed a ban on males in girls’ sports. In the lead-up to his veto, he wrote on Facebook,

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We care deeply about Utah’s female athletes and our LGBTQ+ community. To those hurting tonight: It’s going to be OK. We’re going to help you get through this. Please reach out if you need help.

Once again, he was echoing the language of the left-wing activist groups arguing that the legislation was “harmful” to transgender youth. A few days after his post, the Utah legislature overrode Cox’s veto by a resounding margin of 56 to 18 in the house and 21 to 8 in the senate. The override votes took less than 30 minutes.

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These aren’t isolated incidents. In the context of Cox’s broader record, they suggest genuine enthusiasm for the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” ideology that has characterized Cox’s governorship since its earliest days. On January 4, 2021 — three days after he took office — Cox signed the “Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” which argued that racism is “more than just an individual character flaw.” Rather, it’s “a system of ideas, beliefs, practices, structures, and policies that give some people greater opportunity to be fully human and live a happier and healthier life than others.” Moreover, “unraveling centuries of internalized and systemic racism requires bold anti-racist actions and policies right now.” It was the first document that he signed as governor.

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