Gov. Spencer Cox’s performance in the last legislative session left something to be desired. Sometimes leadership means taking risks.

In the case of HB11, The “Utah way” could have been on full display. There are ways to address the valid concerns of Utahns (a majority of whom purportedly support the ban) while still protecting transgender kids. I fully believe the governor loves trans kids — that’s not the problem. The problem is an overconcern with keeping everyone happy — and that’s not leadership.

His unwillingness to exercise personal legislative leadership on the front end of the process has led to a suboptimal outcome — and a shot across the bow from the Legislature. He could have meaningfully addressed the acerbic rhetoric, too. The issue of suicidality-contagion is even more concerning and could have benefitted from someone speaking to it thoughtfully and sensitively.

As a rule, I try to give grace to our public officials, and trust that they are good people under hard circumstances. I side with Cox’s decision to veto HB11. At the same time, when will he lead out?

Benjamin Pacini

Rexburg, Idaho