Another State Joins Growing List of Those Banning DEI

It's BANNED - Republicans Drop the Hammer!

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The so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) initiatives have faced resistance from an increasing number of states governed by Republicans. The approach, which originated in woke culture and political correctness, employs an antiquated method of trying to make organizations and businesses take racial and gender identities into account in their training programs, hiring policies, and other operations.

For decades, conservatives such as Clarence Thomas, a justice of the Supreme Court, have spoken out and taken action against the practice. He has compared Affirmative Action—an older and more limited form of DEI programs—to Jim Crow legislation and used it as a wrecking ball to destroy it. And he has always voted against such initiatives from his seat on the bench; in June 2023, he joined the other conservative justices in banning race-conscious admissions policies at UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard University.

A number of states have enacted legislation that outright prohibits DEI initiatives and programs. Protecting its inhabitants against damage is a recent trend in Utah, joining other states in this effort.

Utah Bans Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs

The Equal Opportunities Initiative (HB 261) was signed into law on January 30 by Republican Governor Spencer Cox of Utah. The bill forbids public schools, universities, and other government-affiliated organizations from mandating “certain submissions or attend […] training” on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) “before, during, or after admission or employment.”

Equally, those same entities are prohibited from taking DEI into account when making choices “regarding aspects of employment or education” according to HB 261. Furthermore, the new legislation forbids government agencies, state boards, and educational institutions from creating or funding a diversity, equity, and inclusion office.

The new law gives the state auditor, the Utah Board of Education, and specific heads of executive agencies the authority to “review and report compliance” with respect to the execution of HB 261.

HB 261 Lauded

The “balanced solution” to dealing with the severe nature of DEI programs, especially in employment practices, was lauded by Gov. Cox upon the approval of HB 261. Furthermore, he reiterated his conviction that Utah’s “diversity” makes the state “stronger” and his “commitment” to ensuring that it continues to be “a place where everyone can thrive.”

To wrap up his speech, the governor mentioned that his administration has collaborated with “community stakeholders” for the past three years to increase opportunities for “all Utahans.”

Cox has been working to address DEI issues since he took office in 2021, according to a new NPR article. For example, he approved a bill that forbids educators from teaching that a person’s racial identity is sufficient grounds for racism and regulates conversations on religion and race in public schools.

Public school students and employees, as well as those using other government-owned facilities, are required by law (HB257) that Cox signed earlier this year to use the locker rooms and restrooms that correspond to their biological sex.

The Republican-led states that passed legislation prohibiting DEI initiatives were Florida and Texas. According to recent reports from the Associated Press, states such as Iowa and Oklahoma have also approved legislation along these lines. Democratic politicians in nine states, on the other hand, have proposed or launched legislation that would either require or promote DEI programs.

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